Alliss Foundation grant supports BSU students with financial need

Approximately 50 Bemidji State University students with financial need will receive support to continue their college educations, thanks to a grant from the Alliss Educational Foundation and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Jones-Thomas-2014-webmugBSU received $50,503, which will be used to fund $1,000 scholarships for 50 upper-class students with financial need. There is no application process, and the scholarships are administered by BSU’s Financial Aid Office.

“These are the only purely need-based scholarships BSU administers,” said Paul Lindseth, BSU’s director of financial aid. “Most scholarships are targeted toward new, incoming freshmen, so for this program we have elected to provide support for full-time upper-class students who are doing well in school but have high financial need.

“With most of our scholarships being merit-based, it is great to also have the Alliss Foundation supporting our financially needy students and helping with the cost of their education.”

BSU student Thomas Jones, a senior from Cass Lake, Minn., has benefitted from the Alliss Foundation program. The psychology major received an award this year and says it has helped him continue his education and, in turn, allowed him to use his skills to benefit others.

“The scholarship was greatly appreciated because it enabled me to focus my attentions on my course work instead of financial concerns,” he said. “In so doing I was able to excel and make the deans list every semester while attending BSU. Please know that having the scholarship benefited me greatly; as a result it also benefits the people with chemical-use disorders that I have counseled.”

Since 1977, the Charles and Ellora Allis Educational Foundation has been providing grants to provide need-based scholarships to students. This year, the foundation provided the system with more than $688,000 to distribute among the seven MnSCU state universities.

“MnSCU colleges and universities currently serve over 100,000 low-income students, more than all other providers of higher education in Minnesota combined,” said MnSCUChancellor Steven Rosenstone. “This grant will help ensure that their education is affordable and that they can complete their degrees in a timely fashion. We deeply appreciate this generous grant.”

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system includes 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 430,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.

About Charles Alliss
Charles Alliss was one of the first employees of 3M Company and eventually was named general superintendent of factory administration responsible for all 3M manufacturing. He and his wife Ellora created the foundation to provide opportunities for Minnesota’s young people to attend college. Since 1962, the foundation has distributed more than $100 million in scholarships to thousands of Minnesota students.

Paul Lindseth, director of financial aid, Bemidji State University; (218) 755-4143
Doug Anderson, director of communications and media, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities; (651) 201-1426

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