Grant Application Entries
1 Macklem Drive
Wilmore, Kentucky 40390
Dr. Kevin J. Brown
Director for Grants & Foundation Relations
Foster Home Full Scholarship
According to the National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI), only about half the youth raised in foster care finish high school nationwide. Furthermore, less than 3% graduate from a 4-year college. (Source: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Midwest Evaluation of the Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth Outcomes at Age 26, 2011) The support structures many of us take for granted are rarely available for youth aging out of the foster care system.
At Asbury University, we seek to identify students who are orphaned, wards of the court, aging out of the foster care system or recently gone through the loss of parents here in Kentucky, and provide them with scholarships and a support network to enable them to complete an undergraduate degree debt-free. Prospective candidates may be referred from a state agency, social worker, church, donor organization, or directly through the Admission’s process.
Selection Process: Referred students should be academically eligible to attend Asbury, have completed a FAFSA, and be accepted by the school prior to applying or while concurrently applying. Asbury Admissions or Financial Aid staff will facilitate the completion of the short program application for all scholar applicants.
After this, the pool of applicants will be interviewed for admission the upcoming year. This process would ideally take place in the winter/spring (January through April) prior to the upcoming fall semester.
Student Expectations: If selected, awardees will be expected to maintain good academic standing at the University, be involved in the life of the university, and participate in specific programming and mentoring designed to support integration into the full life of the campus. This includes mentoring meetings, tutoring, involvement in specifically identified classes, as well as other support groups and programs.
Academic: Students will be evaluated for academic gaps and provided tutoring support, as needed, by an assigned faculty adviser, individual professors, upper-class peer mentors. Much of this is done through Asbury's Center for Academic Excellence which offers coaching and tutoring for individuals and groups.
Financial: Short term, we seek support from the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation, combined with state and federal financial aid, together with matching gifts from a current donor and Asbury University to fully underwrite the four-year college education of an academically qualified orphan, ward of the court, or young adult aging out of the foster care system at Asbury. Long term, we hope to eventually enroll four or more candidates at a time each year.
Examples of Services Provided:
• Elective personal finance literacy classes (Give, Save, Spend)
• Peer coaches will be trained and to meet and mentor participants monthly
• The Center for Academic Excellence offers course tutoring, writing assistance and academic coaching for almost every class throughout the school year
• The Center for Career and Calling provides short-term experiential learning opportunities supporting vocational preparation
• 14 different student Wellness Groups across campus to choose from
Asbury commits a $12,000 minimum contribution per year in financial aid for one full-time student participant (students are also eligible for additional talent scholarships, i.e. athletic, academic, music etc.) Also, we have identified a matching donor who has agreed to underwrite the remaining tuition, room, boarding, textbooks and fee costs for our initial awardee for his/her sophomore through senior years in college. The financial assistance we propose from the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation would cover the financial gap of $20,000 for the candidate’s first year at Asbury. Funding would be applied to tuition, fees, room, board and textbooks over the full academic year which begins in mid-August and runs through early May.
Asbury’s enrollment stands at 1,926 students, of which 1,153 are traditional undergraduates who generally live on campus. While about 55% of undergraduates are from in-state, the school is well represented both from across the nation and internationally. The current undergraduate student body comes from 42 states and 29 different nations. Furthermore, thanks to a number of popular intercultural scholarships, Asbury’s racial and ethnic campus diversity has more than doubled over the past ten years, now surpassing 19%. The largest sub-population is Hispanic, comprising 6.2% of the student body, followed by Black/Non-Hispanic (5.1%) and international students (4.9%).
In addition, one of Asbury’s six current strategic plan goals is a commitment to cultivating a culturally responsible community. More specifically, this specifically incorporates:
• advancing cultural competency
• increasing intercultural awareness
• expanding faculty-student body representation, and
• cultural humility and equity
306 full-time faculty and staff; 137 part time employees and 37 volunteers
Asbury’s current five-year strategic plan goals (IMAGINE 2022) are as follows:
Initiative I: Advance Asbury University as a rigorous Christian liberal arts university that embraces opportunities and addresses emerging challenges in an increasingly complex global society
Initiative II: Deepen identity as a vibrant community of faith and whole-person transformation
Initiative III: Cultivate a culturally responsible community that practices hospitality, mutuality, social action, and reconciliation
Initiative IV: Recruit, retain, and develop outstanding teacher-scholars committed to academic achievement and student success
Initiative V: Create a culture of business innovation to meet the strategic demands of mission readiness, institutional sustainability, and student affordability
Initiative VI: Pursue excellence in the development, implementation, and management of systems, facilities, and infrastructure.
As was previously stated in the Project Description, orphans, wards of the court, and young adults aging out of the foster care system represent a population in America which is tragically under-served and at-risk. Because most have no safety net once they turn 18 years of age, few matriculate to college, much less graduate. In fact, statistics show that after reaching 18, 20% of the young adults who were in foster care are instantly homeless. Moreover, only about 50% will be gainfully employed by the age of 24.
In 2017, 428,000 children in America lived in foster care. According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Service (CHFS), roughly 10,000 currently live in the state, and the number is growing. As many as 30,000 youth age-out of the US foster care system each year. At Asbury we want to play a role in ending this stigma by providing a head start for a few. We have the academic and co-curricular resources that nurture hope and instill confidence in each participant while preparing them for the 21st Century workforce. We seek to provide for each participant a new life of possibilities through individual determination combined with a supportive network of faculty, administrative staff and fellow students who care.
Our program clearly fulfills the purpose of the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation for one of our state’s most disadvantaged youth by “. . . improving standards of living and opportunity, among the . . . unfortunate . . . residing in the state of Kentucky . . . including demonstrations of progressive and effective methods, for self-help and training.”
With support from Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation and other foundations, corporate sponsors, individual donors, federal and state financial aid packages, and Asbury financial aid, we can provide each young program scholar with the gift of education toward a life with promise without the burden of financial debt.
In recent years, attention has been widely publicized about the hardships and challenges facing youth living without parents in the traditional sense. Some of these sources include the National Foster Youth Institute (NFYI), KIDS COUNT, iFoster, Childstats.gov, childwelfare.gov, CASA, as well as a host of local organizations and agencies. Together, these organizations paint a sad picture about the plight of the young adult aging out of foster care which has largely gone unrecognized by the broader public for far too long. In addition, we have met individuals, corporations and foundations with resources who have indicated that if Asbury would champion this demographic, they would stand behind it financially.
There are obviously other colleges and university which welcome youth from foster care, but we are not aware of any as dedicated to the level of holistic attention and support as Asbury University pledges to provide.
The mission of Asbury University is to equip students, through academic excellence as well as spiritual vitality, for lifelong learning, leadership and service. This holistic focus has a two-pronged promise of impact- the first being a pledge to the student beneficiary for educational preparation combined with spiritual attention. The second pledge targets his/her surrounding peer group. Asbury students agree by their very campus presence to be actively engaged in servant leadership, which means serving the needs neighbors who are less fortunate. One demonstrable application of this commitment is Asbury’s graduation requirement that each student spend a minimum of one week immersed in a culture significantly different than their own. It’s called Cross-Cultural Engagement (CCE) and earns each student one-credit hour.
Metric 1) Enable Success In Basic Competency: Asbury introduced an industry leading measurement tool of higher-order cognitive skills in 2018. The CLA+ Assessment measures the ability to analyze, evaluate, think critically, solve problems, critique arguments, and communicate determinations. Students take the CLA+ as freshmen and again as seniors. All program scholars will show CLA+ improvement as seniors compared with their freshman scores. This represents a long-term (4 year goal)
Metric 2) Participants are paired with a committed, positive adult role model: Each participant will be paired with an upper-class student who will serve as a student success coach as well as a Student Development advisor. Participants will meet monthly with their student success coach and twice per semester with an advisor. The goal of this mentorship is to insure that a program participant adapts well emotionally, socially, spiritually and intellectually into campus life.
Metric 3) Increase Access to Industry-recognized Credential Programs: Approximately 60% of all Asbury undergrads are enrolled in an industry-recognized credentialed, pre-professional program. These programs include Business, Accounting, Education, Social Work and Media-Communication.
Metric 4) Increase Employment Experience: A program awardee will gain experience, while in school, that positions them for better career opportunities through campus employment, internships, summer employment, etc. The goal is for 100% of all participants to receive this opportunity.
Metric 5) Improve Job Placement: Asbury’s Career & Calling office will work with each participant regarding personalized career aspirations as well as connect him/her to Asbury alumni and corporate partners in the participant’s chosen field of interest. These partners will offer free coaching/mentoring for each program awardee. The four-year (long-term) goal would be to place at least 60% of all program participants in a career occupation or graduate program immediately upon graduation.
We have received a pledge from a major donor who has agreed to fund $16,500 per year toward the education of one scholar awardee, following the participant’s first year in college. When combined with other annual and endowed scholarships, Pell grants, KY Tuition Grant Aid, KY CAP grant, KEES Scholarship, and Asbury financial aid, the program participant could earn a college degree without any debt.
Annual Tuition & Fees1 (2 semesters) $ 31,725
Campus Room & Board $ 10,975
Textbooks (1) $ 500
(1) Fee and textbook charges are not uniform but depend on the department. The average annual fees are roughly $180 and textbooks about $500