BSC offers scholarship to increase North Dakota workforce

BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — A scholarship has now been created at a local college to remove the financial strain of higher education for some students in our state.

Bismarck State College’s In-Demand Scholarship is covering school fees for the Spring and Summer semester for scholarship recipients.

The recently created scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, and textbooks up to $6,000 for students.

The goal is to remove financial barriers for students pursuing education in an in-demand career field.

But you may be wondering, what is an in-demand job?

“So these are industries that are lacking the skilled workers to fill those jobs. So if we can use this scholarship to help those folks that just don’t have that great job or want to upscale or maybe just want to do an entire career shift and don’t have the funding for it right now,” said Mari Volk, the dean of current & emerging technologies.

The list of In-Demand Occupations is created by Job Service North Dakota using long-term employment projections from the North Dakota Labor Market Information Center.

Qualifying degree programs at BSC include agribusiness, automotive technology, and EMT/Paramedic technology.

“Being able to help those folks in a service that I will eventually need just makes me really excited. I went to college, struggled through paying for it, still paying for it. But now we’re able to let students come in, get those 12 free credits, and help them get their foot in the door and get into those in-demand jobs,” said Volk.

The scholarship is available for those who are enrolling in classes for the qualifying programs as full or part-time students for this year’s spring and summer semesters.

Recipients can even begin their classes as early as February 6.

“This is just another way that we’re offering that opportunity for students to find success and have that financial burden taken away because we know finances are something that are so incredibly important to so many students. And I’m so excited that we have this opportunity to take away finances for students and to help them with their next step,” said Karen Erickson, dean of enrollment management.

And there is no set number of students that the scholarship will help.

Erickson says it all depends on who takes advantage of it.

“It really depends on how many students, how many credits students take. We anticipate that a lot of adult students that are coming back, dipping their toes in the water if you will, will be picking up a course or two and so they may not spend that whole $6,000 a semester, but we’ll be able to serve a lot of students for Spring and for Summer,” said Erickson.

The total scholarship funding is $315,477 and it will be awarded until June 30 or until funds run out.

Funds for the In-Demand Scholarship is supported with American Rescue Plan Act funds distributed by the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

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