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Blandin Foundation education grants help put higher education within reach for area students

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. –Blandin Foundation’s applications for need-based education grants are now available and are being accepted until May 1. Up to $950,000 will be granted to Itasca County area students pursuing higher education during the 2014-2015 school year.

The education grant program is the longest-running program of the Blandin Foundation, with the first awards given in 1956 by founder Charles K. Blandin. Since then, more than 19,000 area youth have received scholarships totaling more than $20 million.

“Our education grant program has a strong and important history with Itasca area communities,” said Kathy Annette, president of the Blandin Foundation. “For 58 years we have worked with area students to help achieve their dreams of further education. Achievement of our young people was a great passion of Mr. Blandin’s, as it is for the Foundation still today.”

Grants are available to local students who attend, or have graduated from, one of the following high schools: Grand Rapids, Bigfork, Deer River, Hill City, Greenway, Nashwauk-Keewatin, Remer, Blackduck, Northome, Bug-o-Nay-ge-Shig, Northern Lights Community School, and home-schooled students who could have attended school in the greater Itasca County area. To be eligible, students must be under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2014, be registered as a full-time student (12 credits per semester) at any accredited trade school or two-year or four-year college or university, and make satisfactory academic progress toward their degree program (at least a 2.0 GPA or higher).

Recipients are selected on a need-based system, and amounts are based on the federal government’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) formulas. Other factors considered include total cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and miscellaneous expenses), family income, and number of siblings also attending college. Students can receive $1,000 to $4,000, and must reapply each year. The Foundation’s education grants are available for a variety of forms of post-secondary (after high school) education, including college and university, community and technical colleges, and certificate programs.

Applications are available at local high school counseling offices, can be downloaded from the Foundation’s web site (http://blandinfoundation.org/educationgrants) or can be requested from the Foundation directly by calling 218-326-0523 or email to scholarships@BlandinFoundation.org.