MacKenzie Scott gift helps launch Igniting Paths to Success Scholarship

Igniting Paths to Success Scholarship

The two-year scholarship will award full tuition, fees and books to 1,000 students. Interested students are encouraged to apply by August 8.

A month after receiving a transformational gift from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott, Harper College has launched a scholarship that creates a pathway to opportunity and upward mobility.

The two-year Igniting Paths to Success Scholarship will award full tuition, fees and books to 1,000 students beginning this fall, helping to address an urgent need for many in our community struggling to access and prioritize higher education due to the challenges and uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New and continuing students who have a financial need and are working toward a degree or certificate are eligible. Scott recognized Harper College for “successfully educating students who come from communities that have been chronically underserved.” As such, preference will be given to historically underrepresented students and newly enrolled students pursuing fields in Health Careers, STEM, Career and Technical Programs and Business/Entrepreneurship Programs.

“The pandemic has had a disparate impact on historically underrepresented communities, and we can’t permit the prospect of a high-quality college education to slip further away,” said Dr. Avis Proctor, president of Harper College. “We’re committed to taking bold action to empower students to complete credentials and pursue careers that can significantly change the trajectory of their lives and strengthen our community.”

Students awarded the Igniting Paths to Success Scholarship will potentially receive up to $6,000 both this year (2021-22 academic year) and next year (2022-23 academic year) if they meet the continued eligibility criteria.

Harper is allocating $9 million from Scott's recent donation to fund the scholarship over the next two years, with the remaining $3 million coming from institutional funding. The college continues to work on strategies and high-impact initiatives to leverage the remaining Scott funds to advance academic innovation, increase basic needs support, reduce persistent equity gaps in student success outcomes and increase community impact.

“This scholarship will increase access to meaningful educational and career training opportunities, transforming lives and benefitting our community for years to come,” Harper College Board of Trustees Chair Pat Stack said.

To continue their eligibility each semester, scholarship recipients must be enrolled in at least six credit hours, meet with their academic advisor, follow a required academic plan and maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Interested students are encouraged to apply by Aug. 8.

Learn more about the Igniting Paths to Success Scholarship and how to apply.