Bethany College offers free tuition in two Kansas counties

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LINDSBORG, Kan. (KSNW) – Bethany College will offer tuition-free scholarships to all students graduating from a McPherson or Saline County high school for the next five years beginning in the fall of 2017.

The announcement was made at an all-school assembly at Smoky Valley High School in Lindsborg this morning. Students in the eighth through 12th grades were given certificates entitling them to a Bethany Good Life Scholarship valued at more than $110,000.

“Bethany wants to make a strong investment in our community,” President Dr. Will Jones said. “These scholarships will give young people in our home counties an opportunity to attend college close to home and hopefully keep them in our area after they graduate. Bethany is interested in doing all it can to enhance our community. A strong local community makes for a strong Bethany College and a strong Bethany College makes for a strong local community.”

Glen Suppes, superintendent of USD 400, commended Bethany College for what he called a “wonderful gift” to local students. “We are extremely excited about the announcement of this scholarship for our students,” he said. “This presents hundreds of our local students an opportunity to take advantage of participating in an outstanding local college education. Hats off to Bethany for making it a priority to serve the youth in our local community. Our kids are the winners today.”

The scholarship is a way for Bethany College to show its gratitude for 135 years of support from McPherson and Saline Counties, according to President Jones.

“Bethany College strives to educate students to become successful professionals who love God and love people,” President Jones said. “We want every student in our area to have an opportunity to receive a Bethany education.”

The Bethany Good Life Scholarship is made possible through the generous donations of many of the college’s local donors. The four-year, tuition-free scholarship is available to first-time college freshmen graduating from any McPherson or Saline County high school upon acceptance into Bethany College. Recipients of the scholarship are required to live on-campus.

“These students will have an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of many Bethany alumni that have gone on to lead lives of significance,” Matt Pfannenstiel, dean of admissions and financial aid, said. “The scholarship ensures students in McPherson and Saline Counties a quality Bethany academic experience in a supportive environment without the worry of affordability. Living on-campus allows students to experience the college lifestyle even when they are close to home. We also know that students living on campus perform better academically and are more successful all-round.”

President Jones says those who accept the scholarship will only have to pay for room and board.

Jones says students who do accept the scholarship will be required to live all four years on-campus.

Bethany College has five residence halls on-campus, with just under 600 rooms.

The school currently has over 700 students, and could see an increase.

So KSN asked, will there be enough space to house more students if need be?

“Yes, we have a few empty beds on campus and we’d welcome as many students as possible to take advantage of this offer,” said President Jones.

President Jones also announced the availability of Bethany’s Merit Scholarships. These scholarships offer $7,500 to $16,000 to other Kansas resident that meets the academic guidelines based on grade point average and standardized test scores.

Smoky Valley High School senior Katie Bellah had her choices of what college to attend next fall down to two.  One being Barton Community College and the other, Bethany College.

She says today’s announcement helped her decide that Bethany is the place she wants to be.

“I was shocked, I was thinking about going to Bethany, but I really haven’t decided yet and now that I have that opportunity, a lot of money, I’m for sure going to take that offer,” said Bellah.

Other students, like junior Eli Waugh are just beginning their search for the right school.  Waugh says today’s announcement leaves him with a lot to think about.

“It makes Bethany a top, front runner for what college I want to go to,” said Waugh.

The college plans several informational sessions to share more details about the Bethany Good Life Scholarship with students and parents. Students can also participate in the upcoming Visit Day on January 16, 2017 to learn more about the scholarship. Details about all of Bethany’s scholarships can be found here.