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Article - Scholarships help keep UNO students on track

Scholarships help keep UNO students on track

Scholarships help keep UNO students on track

Jim and Shirley Young want to ease the load for students who deserve it.

Posted: Wed, May 4, 2011

Nearly 85 percent of the students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha apply for financial assistance. But just 30 percent are eligible for Pell Grants, the largest federal grant program for students from low-income families.

Many students have to work their way through college. Jim Young did. At times the UNO grad who now is CEO and chairman of Union Pacific had to work two jobs.

He and his wife, Shirley, decided to help ease the load for such students. Their $1 million gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation this year established the Jim and Shirley Young Scholarship Program.

The program is designed for low-income students – often first-generation college attendees – who don't qualify for Pell Grants.

About 10 Young Scholars each year will receive money for tuition, fees and books as well as a mentor, who will give academic resources and support to them throughout their college years. Young Scholars also will receive money for on-campus housing.

"Shirley and I have great respect for UNO and, in particular, its focus on students' success," Jim says. "For many, tuition funding is one among several supports needed to obtain a good education.

"This scholarship program will enable students to fully engage with their studies and the campus community in the face of their day-to-day and family responsibilities."

Jim Young currently chairs the UNO campaign committee that's part of the foundation's Campaign for Nebraska. More than $115 million has been raised for UNO under his leadership.

Support for students is a top campaign priority. If you'd like to help UNO students, too, please consider giving online or contacting the foundation's Lori Byrne at 800-432-3216.

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