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Nina Scholars program offers full scholarships for nontraditional students


February 28, 2013

Current and future ASU students who face major challenges in obtaining a college education are encouraged to apply for the Arizona State University Nina Mason Pulliam Legacy Scholars Program. Applications for the 2013 cohort are being accepted now through April 1.

Detailed information regarding the scholarship criteria and steps to apply online can be viewed on the Nina Scholars website.

Founded through a partnership between ASU and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, the Nina Scholars program began in 2001 to honor Nina Mason Pulliam’s passion for education. The scholarship ensures tuition, student fees and books for ASU freshmen and continuing students raised through the child welfare system, college-aged youth and adults with physical disabilities and returning students 25-years-of-age and older with dependents in their household.

Supported by and housed within ASU’s College of Public Programs, the program, provides scholars financial support toward the cost of attendance for up to six years at ASU for new applicants.  

“The College of Public Programs is committed to reaching beyond our own college to serve diverse students throughout ASU,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs. “The Nina Scholars program connects students overcoming challenges with the resources and financial support needed to successfully complete their college education.”

Beyond financial support, the program provides onsite advisors and study lounges to help the scholars solve problems that might otherwise force them to drop out. Krissy Jo Bergen, who is graduating from ASU this May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, says Nina Scholars also benefit from the encouragement and inspiration that comes from fellow students in the program.

Bergen, who is raising her 12-year-old as a single parent, assumed a study abroad experience was out of reach for students with family responsibilities. Many single parents struggle just to maintain regular attendance in class, she said.

Thanks to the advice she received from a fellow Nina Scholar – also a single parent – Bergen was able to top off her undergraduate career with a study abroad experience in China. “She assured me that, if she could do it, I could do it, too,” Bergen said.

Additional information and scholarship criteria may be viewed on the Nina Scholars website. Qualified applicants must submit an essay, recommendation letters, official academic transcript, and financial need documentation as outlined on the official application. Selected scholarship candidates will be invited to interview in May. Questions regarding the ASU Nina Scholars program can be referred to nina.scholars@asu.edu or Jo Ann Martinez, program director, at 602-496-1771.