Oct 11


Shenandoah University Nursing

$2.58 Million Federal Grant Awarded To Shenandoah University’s Eleanor Wade Custer School Of Nursing

Shenandoah receives largest competitive grant in the university’s history. The grant is funded by the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program.

Shenandoah University is pleased to announce the acquisition of a $2.58 million federal grant by the Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing. This award represents the largest competitive grant ever received by Shenandoah University. Funded by the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program, the grant will provide $645,000 in scholarships for full-time undergraduate nursing students each year for the next four years. 

“This grant will make a dramatic difference for more than 40 students who have limited financial resources,” said Associate Dean for Student Affairs Dr. Janice Smith. “Those students who are balancing family and work responsibilities while attending nursing school at the same time will be able to work less, and they will graduate with a lower student loan debt.” 

Congress established the SDS program in 1990 to increase diversity in the nursing and health professions workforce. The program provides grants that may be used by institutions to award scholarships to financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Due to reforms in the program, priority is now given to schools with certain percentages of full-time underrepresented minority students as well as graduates working in primary care or in medically underserved communities. 

This is the third consecutive year Shenandoah University will receive SDS program funds; however, in the previous two years, amounts were much smaller and awards were made on a year-to-year basis. 

“I cannot emphasize enough how invaluable it is to know that we can now expect continued funding for four consecutive years,” said Smith. “For students to know that they can rely on this type of funding, so long as they remain eligible, gives them a greater ability to concentrate on their studies and inspire excellence in the field of nursing.”

Last year, three SDS nursing scholarships were awarded for a total of $55,164. With the new grant, at least 43 scholarships will be awarded beginning in the 2012-13 academic year and will continue the following three years. Full-year scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $15,000 and half-year scholarships in the amount of $7,500.

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