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New scholarship aimed at ‘second-chance’ students

Richard “Rich” Smith, a long-time supporter of Mid Michigan Community College, has established a Second-Chance Opportunity Scholarship to support students when they need it most.

The lifetime value of a college education is well known. Equally well known is that the cost of college attendance has risen significantly in the last few years leading some students to rely on increased borrowing, while others have placed their educational plans on hold.

Mid Michigan Community College’s founding trustees established a philosophy that the college would work to ensure that no student would be denied enrollment for financial reasons. An important component in pursuing this commitment has been an ongoing effort encouraging individuals and organizations to contribute to MMCC’s Scholarship & Grants Program or to financially support a specific scholarship of their choosing.

In support of this goal, Smith informed MMCC’s Financial Aid Office of his intent to establish an ongoing “Second-Chance Opportunity Scholarship” with a financial contribution sufficient to ensure that its annual earnings will maintain the scholarship in perpetuity.

In-district students who satisfy the requirements will be eligible to apply for this competitive scholarship. Successful applicants, providing the required academic standing is maintained, will have 12 contact hours of tuition covered each semester for up to three semesters.

The “Second-Chance” aspect of the scholarship comes from the requirement that the student has previous academic success at a college or university but, because of a life-intervening event, has been unable to attend for at least one semester.

Smith, who graduated from Clare High School, served in the U.S. Navy and earned a B.A. from Central Michigan University before starting his long career in finance.

“I have frequently marveled at the seemingly insurmountable obstacles some students have overcome to achieve their educational goals. As we all realize, life is filled with endless uncertainties, especially so it seems for young people and even those who have carefully planned their educational goals are not immune,” said Smith. “A sudden illness, death in the family or any number of life-changing events can necessitate dropping out of college. It is my hope that this scholarship will enable some students so impacted to return to college and complete their educational program.”

More information about the Rich Smith Second-Chance Opportunity Scholarship is available at MMCC’s Financial Aid Office by calling (989) 386-6664.

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