Concord University has long been committed to improving student access and completion, particularly for low income and first-generation students in rural Appalachia. Longstanding federally funded programs like Student Support Services, Upward Bound, McNair Scholars Program, and GEAR UP have enabled Concord to focus on the college pipeline (8th grade – college graduation).
As state support for higher education has drastically fallen over the last ten years, tuition has risen. The once strong belief that higher education is a public good has dramatically shifted to that of a private good with students and families bearing more of the cost. However, Concord students graduate with the lowest average amount of loan debt among our peers in West Virginia thanks in parts to the generous contributions by alumni and friends to the scholarship program. The Concord University Foundation provides a large number of student scholarships to offset college costs and actively seeks donor contributions to attract new, and support continuing, students. In addition to awarding scholarships based on academic merit, Concord provides need-based financial support for low-income students.
Within the past several years, Concord launched the PAWS and Pathways scholarships totaling $100,000 annually for upper class students with unmet need. Concord will redouble its efforts to recruit and retain high-quality students by remaining competitive with student scholarships. Over the next several years we will conduct a capital campaign to raise scholarship dollars.