WILLISTON, N.D. - Last year, Landy Dossou's fall semester began like many other freshman's at Williston State College (WSC): applying for scholarships and financial aid for her first semester's books and tuition and hunkering down to study. What she did not expect was that eight weeks in, an announcement would change her life.
Last October, WSC and its foundation announced the Williams Country Graduate (WCG) Scholarship, a partnership between the Alva J. Field trust, the North Dakota Challenge Fund, and Williston State College Foundation that would allow any graduate of a Williams County high school to attend WSC for two years with books, tuition, and fees covered by the WCG Scholarship.
Last year, Dossou chose WSC to obtain her generals at a low cost before transferring to a four-year university. She never imagined that her cost would be so low she would be able to transfer debt-free.
"Because of this scholarship and other financial aid that WSC provides, I didn't have to take out any loans," Dossou explained. "I didn't have to stress about the cost of tuition, fees, and books. I was able to choose my classes that I needed to take without worrying about their cost."
As one of the 344 WCG Scholarship recipients, Dossou helped WSC achieve their second consecutive record-breaking headcount for Fall 2015 with 1,038 students. The WCG Scholarship students composed 33% of Fall 2015 enrollment and on saved on average $3,455.
"It is a wonderful opportunity to attend college without worrying about the cost of tuition, fees, and books," Dossou said. "I thank the Alva J Field Trust, WSC Foundation, and ND Higher Ed College Fund for this amazing opportunity."
WSC Foundation board members are proud of what this scholarship has meant for residents of Williams County. Countless opportunities have opened for area students through this partnership, with $1,229,119 total awards disbursed.
"Education provides opportunities and opportunities open the door for success. The Williams County Graduate Scholarship is a great way to get that education at a very affordable price," Ward Koeser Former Williston Mayor and WSC Foundation Board Member stated. "The Williams County Graduate Scholarship is a great tool for our students to use as they look to create the future of their dreams."
Part of the Student Senate and Teton Activity Board, Dossou's involvement at WSC has been impressive. From her work as the President of the Diversity Club and her volunteerism as a WSC Student Ambassador to being a Supplemental Instructor for Math and her job on campus in the Financial Services department, Dossou is a testament of how early involvement can lead to success.
On course to earn her Associates in Applied Science in Accounting, Associates in Arts, and Associates in Science, Dossou hopes to attend North Dakota State University to major in Actuarial Science with a minor in Accounting next year.
"We love having Landy with us in Financial Services. This is the second year she has worked in our department," Laurie Furuseth, CPA & Chief Financial Officer at WSC stated. "Landy is always willing to help out where needed. She tackles any task she is given. She has a great future ahead of her and will be a tremendous asset wherever she chooses to pursue her career."
The WCG Scholarship will continue as long as revenue and earnings continue. Now, thanks to the North Dakota Challenge Fund, your money will go further. For every two dollars you donate, the North Dakota Challenge Fund will contribute one dollar. For anyone interested in contributing to the WCG Scholarship, please contact the Williston State College Foundation at 701.572.9275.
For more information about the WCG Scholarship please contact WSC at 701.774.4220
For any information regarding WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu,
call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.