Unfunded Byrd Scholarship affecting Utah students

UtahPublicEducation.org Unfunded Byrd Scholarship affecting Utah students

Photo by scot2342/flickr

Many of the recipients of the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship learned recently that they will lose their funding. This four-year scholarship is for academically exceptional high school graduates who show the promise of excelling in college. However, Congress did not appropriate funds for the scholarship in the 2011 fiscal year budget passed in April. The result is that Utah’s 174 Byrd Scholarship recipients who are juniors and seniors in college will receive the scholarship for one more year. The remaining 75 Utah Byrd scholarships will not be funded.

Utah State Office of Education recognizes the importance of a college education and the educators at USOE are greatly saddened over the loss of these promised funds. Staff held out hope through June that funds would be made available to continue the scholarship. However, by the end of June, notice came that, indeed, the scholarship would go unfunded. Affected students received notice last week and information was placed on the USOE scholarship website, here.

Understandably, students and their families have been disappointed over this news. However, USOE also received this encouraging email from one of the recipients who will receive one last year of funding:

On behalf of all Byrd Scholarship recipients, I’m writing to express my gratitude to the Utah State Office of Education for funding us this one last time and for all of the funds we have received in the past. It is a disappointment that the program was cut, but we appreciate everything we’ve been given to help us expand our education, and I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say that we hope to have the opportunity in the future to help other students.

USOE echoes this student’s appreciation for the scholarship, and hopes Congress will reinstate it in the future, when funds become available.

Related posts:

Comments are closed.