University of Mount Union Renews Commitment to Investment Alliance Scholarship Initiative with Alliance City Schools
August 10, 2016
ALLIANCE, Ohio – Today, the University of Mount Union announced its continued commitment to battle “brain drain” in the area and keep Alliance’s best and brightest in the city by renewing the Investment Alliance scholarship initiative. Initially launched in 2014 in cooperation with Alliance City Schools, the scholarship program awards full-tuition scholarships to high-caliber Alliance High School graduates.
Through Investment Alliance, the top 15 students of each Alliance High School graduating class who meet the eligibility requirements of the program are awarded full-tuition undergraduate awards to Mount Union that are renewable for up to four years. Launched as a four-year pilot program for the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 cohorts of Alliance High School graduates, the program has been extended for four more years. Thus, the top 15 students graduating from Alliance High School in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 will have an opportunity to benefit from the award.
“As an educational institution located in the district, we feel fortunate to have the opportunity to extend our partnership with Alliance City Schools on this initiative,” said Dick Merriman, president of Mount Union. “There is no doubt that, in its first three years in existence, this program has made a significant impact on the recipients. Since its inception, we’ve enrolled 14 recipients and will welcome 12 more this fall, bringing the total investment in these 26 students to $3 million for their four-year undergraduate experiences.”
“When we began our deliberations regarding the future of this program, the need was apparent and the benefit was clear,” Merriman added. “We are rewarding these students’ academic achievements with four-year undergraduate full-tuition awards, and they are enriching our campus community through their academic pursuits, leadership abilities and service-minded approach.”
The 12 Investment Alliance recipients enrolling as freshmen this fall will be joined by 19 of their Alliance High School Class of 2016 classmates. The arrival of these 31 new students in a few weeks will mark an all-time high with regard to the enrollment of Alliance High School students in one Mount Union entering class.
To be eligible for the award, students will need to:
- Meet undergraduate admission criteria to the University and be granted undergraduate admission.
- Be identified as an eligible recipient by the high school based upon meeting the required rank in the top 15 students of the graduating class as of the sixth semester of high school study and earn a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in the seventh semester of high school study.
- Demonstrate continuous traditional enrollment at Alliance High School for the full four years of study and earn an Alliance High School diploma, completing all degree requirements by the spring commencement (excludes home-schooled students; includes students with normal accelerated credits including post-secondary, dual credit and AP)
- Enroll as an undergraduate student at Mount Union in the fall semester immediately following AHS high school graduation unless participating in an approved study abroad experience or transfer from another accredited higher education institution before the start of the second year of undergraduate study
The Investment Alliance award is renewable for four years (unless the college degree is completed before then) as long as the student maintains a 3.0 cumulative GPA at Mount Union and is enrolled full time. The cumulative GPA is reviewed the first time after the fourth semester and annually after that.
A second review of the program will take place in 2020 to determine its future viability beyond 2021.
“Motivating our students to maintain high academic achievement and emphasizing to them, even at a young age, that a college education can make a valuable impact on their futures is a priority for Alliance City Schools,” said Jeffery S. Talbert, superintendent of Alliance City Schools. “I can think of no better way to fulfill this commitment than to continue our collaboration with the University of Mount Union on the Investment Alliance initiative. Not only does it benefit our students in so many very critical ways, but it will assist in our efforts to position the district as an attractive option for those living within the city limits and beyond.”
In addition to benefiting the community by remaining in Alliance during their college years, students earning Investment Alliance awards further impact the city by giving back to their home high school community through service initiatives while students at Mount Union. They also serve as Mount Union ambassadors of sorts when called upon by the University to do so.
Students in the program have also been afforded the opportunity to secure hands-on job experiences with Alliance-area businesses and organizations as a result of the leadership of a number of city business leaders and the organization of the Alliance Area Development. In fact, this past summer, Kelby Smith, a member of the inaugural cohort of Investment Alliance award recipients, benefited from a marketing internship with the Greater Alliance Foundation.
“For years, the University and school district have collaborated on many valuable and rewarding initiatives including shared facilities, joint educational programming, mentorship opportunities and practical experiences for Mount Union students.” said Merriman. “This is simply a continuation of our partnership. Investment Alliance truly demonstrates our mutual commitment to bettering Alliance and ensuring a bright future for the city and its residents who call it home.”