Returning to the classroom can be a challenge for non-traditional students, and a program at New Mexico State University has offered support to those in need since 2015. The NMSU Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholars program provides not only financial assistance but also resources such as workshops, one-on-one mentoring and financial literacy training.
Of the 74 non-traditional students in the program, 81 percent have graduated or are actively pursuing their degrees at NMSU. In the last six years, the 74 scholars have attended approximately 230 academic support workshops, and all of the scholars completed a financial literacy workshop.
“The combination of financial, academic support services and mentoring are key factors in facilitating the success of the program. The participants’ determination and resilience toward degree completion and their receptivity of the program’s services are the ingredients for success,” said Tony Marin, assistant vice president of student affairs.
Yvonne Franco, senior student program coordinator, leads the Student Success Center staff who conduct the academic support and financial literacy workshops in addition to individual mentoring sessions.
In early March, the NMSU Foundation was informed about the grant’s renewal, and NMSU will be awarded $55,000 from the Daniels Fund to provide Boundless Opportunity Scholarships to non-traditional students including student veterans. This will fund scholarships for 30 students for two years.
“The Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholars program has had a profound impact on student success and social mobility as demonstrated by the success of participants,” Marin said. “The vision and legacy of Bill Daniels has fostered the success of non-traditional students and we look forward to the 2021-2023 grant cycle in which we will also serve student veterans in partnership with the NMSU Military and Veterans Program.”
The scholarships help students with expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies and transportation and commuting costs. Scholarship recipients will be selected this summer and awarded for the fall 2021 semester. Students can apply for the scholarships by May 31 through the NMSU Scholar Dollar$ program at https://scholarships.nmsu.edu/.
The Daniels Fund is a private charitable foundation that continues the legacy of generosity established by its founder and former New Mexican Bill Daniels, through grant and scholarship programs and other initiatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.