A “reverse scholarship” is a talent retention program that will pay students on the back-end of their college career. Applicants must have completed a degree in a STEAM related field and agree to live and work within the county. This innovate new scholarship program offered by The Community Foundation of St. Clair County plans to offer three $10,000 “reverse scholarships” early next year. The goal is to help graduates with their college loan debt and bolster the area’s workforce
As many Michigan communities struggle to retain local college graduates as a part of their economic growth strategies, the Community Foundation of St. Clair County is set to become the first to launch a coordinated, foundation-based Reverse Scholarship program. We’ve taken a fresh look at the long history of traditional scholarships and feel we can have a greater economic impact by reversing the sequence and paying students after they’ve successfully graduated and moved back home,” said Hale Walker, a board member of the community foundation and co-own of Michigan Mutual. He serves as the program’s selection committee chairman in St. Clair County. “At its heart, this is an economic development initiative to lure college graduates back to Michigan.”
The Community Foundation of St. Clair County will begin accepting applications April 4. In its first year, the foundation will give three awards of $10,000 each and hopes to grow that to at least $100,000 total within the next few years.
Applicants must be graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, arts and math who live outside St. Clair County. They must have completed a viable vocational, associate or bachelor’s degree program within the past seven years and still have student debt. What we’re looking for is educated young people, with that background or entrepreneurial flair to come into the community and build the Blue Water Area.”