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Tip Sheet for the week of Aug. 20, 2007

RELEASED: Aug. 20, 2007

Story Idea
For university students with limited financial resources, paying for the first two years of college can be a particular challenge, as scholarships in a student's declared major often are not available until that student's junior or senior year. In recent years, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation's Blugold Promise Scholarship program has begun to make a college education more accessible for freshman and sophomore students who have great academic potential and hopes but high financial need.

"The university has embraced the 'Wisconsin Idea' that a university education should be made available to all citizens of Wisconsin and beyond an ideal that has been seriously challenged by tuition increases and state and federal financial aid policies," said Kimera Way, executive director of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

Through the Blugold Promise Scholarship program, students in the top 25 percent of their graduating high school class who also have high financial need can qualify for a $500 scholarship during their freshman year at UW-Eau Claire. If they maintain good grades during their freshman year and continue to demonstrate financial need, they will receive a $1,000 scholarship their sophomore year.

Betsy Kell of Eau Claire is one of many donors who support Blugold Promise Scholarships. Her support is through the John Kell Memorial Blugold Promise Scholarship, which was established following the death of her husband, the former president of Kell Container in Chippewa Falls, in 2005. Sophomore finance major and Chippewa Falls High School graduate Leah Pitt recently received the Kell Blugold Promise Scholarship for the second year. Pitt and Betsy Kell are both available to talk about their experiences with the Blugold Promise Scholarship program from a donor's and a recipient's perspective, and Way is available to discuss all aspects of the program. Contact Kell at 715-834-0693, Pitt at 715-577-6459 or pittlm@uwec.edu, and Way at 715-836-5180 or waykk@uwec.edu.

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