Newswise — MOUNT VERNON, Iowa – Cornell College is taking another step to make college affordable by giving Midwest students $30,000 when they’re admitted.

The Cornell College Freeway Scholarship is rolling out for first-year students from Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, and Nebraska who are applying now for the 2022-23 school year. 

“The idea behind the Freeway Scholarship is to reduce the red tape. People often feel like they have to apply, get admitted, and fill out forms before they learn what their financial aid package may be,” said Vice President for Enrollment Management Wendy Beckemeyer. “With this scholarship, they know they’re getting $30,000 up front. That’s valuable as families consider colleges.”

Cornell’s Freeway Scholarship is renewable for four years for students from the five Midwest states, plus Kansas City, Kansas, who plan to live on campus. This scholarship puts Cornell’s cost of attendance very close to the flagship public universities in those states. In fact, Cornell is within $3,250 of the average of those five colleges.

“We researched five different flagship state institutions in our neighboring states, and we know that with this scholarship we are within reach of the same price of their attendance, and at Cornell students get a high-quality private education,” Beckemeyer said. “We want families to know that Cornell is an affordable option that offers immersive opportunities on the One Course At A Time calendar.” 

The Freeway Scholarship follows up last year’s revamped Cornell College Iowa Promise Scholarship. In October of 2020, the college offered $30,000 to all admitted Iowa students, which put Cornell’s cost of attendance in line with Iowa’s three state universities. The positive response from that scholarship encouraged the college to expand the opportunity to students in additional states.

“Affordability should be one of the top initiatives for every college,” said Director of Admissions Drew Shradel. “It’s our responsibility as higher education professionals to find ways to make our college affordable and accessible. This is an investment in our students and an investment in what we believe in. We are a great institution and what better way for us to demonstrate that than by giving more students access to our educational system, our professors, and our facilities.”

At Cornell College students live, work, and study on the block plan, also known as One Course At A Time. Students fully immerse themselves in a single course with a single professor for 3 ½ weeks before moving on to the next course. Cornell students complete the same number of courses each semester as they would at an institution with a traditional calendar. 

“Our students have told us over and over about the successes they’ve achieved after they graduate because they learn quickly on the block plan,” Beckemeyer said. “We want this new scholarship opportunity to encourage more Midwest students to visit Cornell’s campus, explore the opportunities we offer, and know they can get an education here at a price that’s comparable to what they’d get at the flagship state university closer to home.”

Students engaging in the fine arts or esports can qualify for additional financial awards that are added to the Freeway Scholarship, increasing their aid package. Transfer students from the Midwest who are admitted to the college will be eligible for a $25,000 Freeway Scholarship up front.

For more information students and families can email [email protected]

About Cornell College:

Cornell College is a liberal arts college of approximately 1,000 students in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Cornellians have been living, learning, and teaching on the block plan, One Course At A Time, since 1978. Each 18-day course can take students and professors off-campus and even out of the country due to the block’s flexibility, and students fully immerse themselves in their topic of study, taking field trips, diving into research, creating an art exhibit, or exploring issues in the local community. With students from around the country and the world, as well as renowned faculty, speakers, and entertainers, Cornell offers the world from its campus.

Register for reporter access to contact details