The state Board of Education voted unanimously today for a $10 million plan for need-based scholarships for Idaho college students, an area where Idaho lags far behind most states. Idaho offers about $17 per student in need-based aid, compared to a national average of $387. “As the cost of living and the cost of tuition rises, our students are in desperate need for additional aid,” said Sue Thilo, the board member who chaired a task force that developed the plan. “No longer can students work part-time and go to school full-time without taking out large amounts of student loans. As we look at how to improve Idaho’s economy and the lives of Idahoans, education is the key.”
The plan calls for an initial $10 million in state funding, with businesses and citizens contributing additional amounts toward an endowment fund. If it’s approved by the Legislature, about 650 high school graduates could get state aid of up to $3,000 starting in 2007.