WILLISTON, N.D. - At its February meeting, the North Dakota Challenge Fund announced a $150,000 contribution to the Williston State College Foundation. Along with private matching donations of $300,000, $450,000 in scholarship endowment funds are available for WSC students.
The WSC Foundation and the North Dakota Challenge fund began their partnership July 1, 2015. For every two dollars donated to the WSC Foundation, the Challenge Fund will contribute one dollar. Through this partnership, the WSC Foundation is eligible to receive one million dollars from the North Dakota Challenge Fund through June 30, 2017.
"It is our goal to raise two million dollars in donations to make sure we get all of the one million the challenge fund says we are eligible for," Terry Olson, WSC Foundation Executive Director, stated. "I am proud to say that with the generosity of our community, we are halfway to our goal and still have another year to achieve it."
Through this rare opportunity, WSC implemented the Williams County Graduate Scholarship that began Fall 2015. The partnership with the Alva J. Field Trust, the North Dakota Challenge Fund and the WSC Foundation allowed 344 Williams County Graduates attend WSC debt-free.
After the success of the Williams County Graduate Scholarship, increasing fall enrollment by 33%, the WSC Foundation extended free tuition and fees to Burke, Divide, Mountrail, and McKenzie counties for 2016 graduates. Application deadlines for both the Regional and Williams County Graduate Scholarship are due April 1, 2016 and can be found at www.willistonstate.edu/williamscounty or www.willistonstate.edu/regionalcounty.
"We are preparing to continue these scholarships as along as people keep donating to the Foundation," stated Olson. "We want our community to have an opportunity for free higher education. I am proud to say we are able to do that because of this dollar match."
Private donations to the Foundation have been enhanced by these matching funds. Phylis Hystad began a scholarship in honor of her son. The Calvin Hystad Memorial Scholarship provides educational opportunities for students from the local area who show financial need. The matching dollars partnership has allowed this scholarship to increase 50% from past years.
The WSC Foundation encourages anyone interested in donating to help achieve the two million dollar goal to do so soon. Scholarship endowments allow WSC to continue providing educational opportunity. Each generous gift can now be increased by 50% in matching funds from the North Dakota Challenge Fund. If interested in contributing, please contact the WSC Foundation at 701.572.9275.