A total of 89 scholarships totaling more than $70,000 are available to high school seniors who are living in Eagan or attending school there.
The money comes from the Eagan Foundation as part of its 2012 scholarship program.
All together, the 89 scholarships total $71,850 -- compared to last year, that's 17 more scholarships and $12,000 more in the overall pool.
Also, this year's application process will be paperless, with all students submitting their profiles online. Applications are being accepted through 6 p.m. Feb. 29.
Eagan Foundation scholarships are funded through donations from area businesses, school organizations, family foundations and nonprofits. Scholarship awards are based on donor-specified criteria, which may include requirements such as student financial need or specific career interests.
New this year, the foundation will offer four foundation-funded scholarships, including one for a student pursuing a two-year degree.
There also are seven scholarships available that are not dependent upon GPA but recognize young people who have persevered through hardships.
The donors established these criteria to help students who may have experienced a serious illness, death in the immediate family or other significant setback. The largest of these scholarships is valued at $1,500, sponsored by Gopher Resource Corp.
Educators are invited to attend an all-day event on collaboration between high schools and community colleges.
Called "K-12/Higher Education Collaborations for Student Success: Concept to Implementation," the event partly is sponsored by Inver Hills Community College's Access & Opportunity Center of Excellence. It is scheduled for 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 29 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Brooklyn Park.
The purpose of the conference is to have educators share ideas and strategies to promote college readiness and success for underrepresented students with an overall goal of reducing the achievement gap.
Participants will include faculty and administrators from Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), representatives from their K-12 partner schools and districts, and other educators interested in promoting successful transitions for students to college.
The morning session will include a keynote address from Doug Knowlton, MnSCU's incoming vice chancellor for academic and student affairs and former president of Dakota State University, and Bruce Watkins, the superintendent of St. Cloud Area School District 742. The remainder of the event will combine multiple breakout sessions on specific topics, including practical tips and lessons learned from MnSCU schools and K-12 schools in creating meaningful collaborations between K-12 and higher education.
Presenters from Inver Hills Community College will include Woubejig Shiferaw, director of student retention initiatives at Inver Hills, who will lead a breakout session on college readiness for English language learners; Doug Binsfeld, dean of fine arts and humanities, who will join Burnsville teachers to discuss a new program offered for students in the "academic middle" to earn college credits while in high school; and Tadael Emiru, director of access, opportunity and advising, who will discuss the college readiness model from Inver Hills.
Benjamin Sather may not be perfect, but the Henry Sibley High School junior sure is close.
Sather earned the top composite score of 36 on the ACT college admissions and placement exam. While the actual number of students nationwide who earn a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, roughly one-tenth of one percent receive a top score. Among the national high school graduation class of 2011, only 704 of more than 1.6 million students earned a composite score of 36.
"Earning the highest score possible on such a challenging and important college placement exam is an incredible academic achievement," said Robin Percival, the principal at Sibley. "We congratulate Benjamin and wish him continued success in the pursuit of his educational goals and in his studies beyond Henry Sibley."
The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student's composite score is the average of the four scores.
HERÓN MÁRQUEZ ESTRADA