The federal government on Friday announced that Kansas University will receive a portion of national funds aimed at a low-income, work-study scholarship program.
As part of a $6.6 million federal push to help 120 minority and low-income students earn degrees in community planning and urban development, Kansas University will receive $60,000 in work-study scholarship funds this fall.
The two-pronged approach, spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and announced on Friday, sets aside $3 million for tuition assistance at community colleges serving largely Hispanic communities, and $3.6 million for community development work-study programs at a number of national universities.
``HUD is partnering with these colleges to help train a new generation of professionals who will work to revitalize cities and towns in the 21st century,'' HUD deputy secretary Saul Ramirez said during a press conference. ``This investment will build better futures.''
The work-study scholarship funds, he added, will enable hundreds of economically disadvantaged and minority students to gain access to higher education. The funds are headed for 31 universities that offer master's degree programs in community planning and urban development.
Universities will receive no more than $90,000. Regional schools receiving support include the University of Colorado at Denver and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Three KU students will be selected to divvy the $60,000 in scholarship funds. However, it was unclear Friday who at KU would be administering the program locally.
``One of our goals is to have the administration of our programs represent the diversity of our society,'' said Elmer Binford, community builder with the Kansas City office of HUD. ``To do that, we need to make special efforts to recruit, train, develop and mentor people of all walks of life.''
The hope, Binford added, is that graduates would one day return to their communities to share what they have learned.
``Urban areas are the places that have large concentrations of minority citizens,'' Binford said. ``So one of the goals here is to encourage such people to participate in redevelopment efforts.''
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