rootEd Alliance Announces Scholarships for 32 New Rural Graduates

Jess DewesNews

Many thanks to rootEd Alliance, a partner of The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis that extends Foundation resources to students across rural Missouri, who recently announced 32 new scholarships for rural high school graduates headed to college this fall:

Scholarships total up to $12,000 per student annually for up to five years. Scholarships are aligned to broader statewide effort that places dedicated college and career advisors in rural high schools to ensure every graduate is on a path to career success and economic stability.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.Aug. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire

rootEd Alliance, a national philanthropic organization dedicated to ensuring students in rural communities graduate on a path to achieve career success and economic stability, today announced 32 high school graduates from rural communities across Missouri will receive scholarships to attend a four-year college or university in the coming year. The rootEd scholarships total up to $12,000 per student annually and are renewable through graduation or up to five years.

rootEd scholarships are “last dollar,” which means they are intended to fill a student’s unmet financial needs based on their full cost of attendance after other financial aid is considered. By helping students to graduate nearly debt-free, the program aims to increase college enrollment and completion for students in rural Missouri. Research shows students from rural communities often face unique barriers to accessing and achieving education and training opportunities after high school graduation.

A list of the newly awarded 2023 scholars can be found here.

The program includes two distinct, need-based opportunities:

  • The rootEd Undergraduate Scholarship: Eligible applicants include graduating seniors who plan to enroll at an accredited, nonprofit four-year college or university. Recipients must have attended a school that participated in rootEd Missouri during the 2022-2023 school year. rootEd Missouri is a collaborative effort among rootEd Alliance, Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC), and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to boost college and career outcomes for students in rural communities by placing dedicated advisors in rural high schools to provide students with college and career planning support.
  • The rootEd Community College Transfer Scholarship: Eligible applicants include Missouri community college students who attended a rural high school in the state and who plan to transfer to an accredited, nonprofit four-year college or university.

“Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s rootEd Scholarships,” said rootEd Alliance President Noa Meyer. “Each of these students, selected from a competitive pool of applicants from across Missouri’s rural communities, showed incredible smarts, determination, and promise in their applications, and we are thrilled to support them in continuing their education at four-year colleges and universities.”

Since 2018, 111 students have benefited by participating in this renewable scholarship. The scholars serve as sources of inspiration and mentorship for other rural students as they pursue college and their future careers.

David Wysong, a rising senior studying business administration at the University of Missouri at Columbia, said the rootEd scholarship has been “a giant blessing to not only myself, but to my family.”

“It means having a chance to better my future at an accredited university without having the anxiety of having to pay for school or student loans,” Wysong said.

The scholarships are administered by The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis, a nonprofit with a 103-year track record of providing last-dollar scholarships and interest-free loans to Missouri residents, as well as intensive student support services, such as mentoring, financial planning and guidance, mental health support, and internship opportunities.

About rootEd Alliance
Every student should graduate high school on a path to achieve career success and economic stability. rootEd Alliance places dedicated college and career advisors in rural high schools to work with all students to define and plan their futures, whether through a college degree, work-based learning, or military service. Launched in 2018 and now operating in MissouriTexas, and Idaho, 183 rootEd advisors have served 30,000 students at 189 high schools. This approach is working: in the 2022 school year, rootEd schools saw a 13% increase in postsecondary enrollment, while national enrollment rates remained flat over the same time period. rootEd Alliance is made possible by a group of philanthropists and family and founder-led businesses, convened by BDT & MSD Partners. For more information, please visit: