DETROIT — Wayne State University has received a $100,000 commitment from the Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation to create the Crossing the Finish Line Annual Scholarship.
The scholarship is designed to encourage undergraduate students who are near graduation but require additional support to complete their degree. The foundation’s generosity was shepherded by Mandell “Bill” and Madeleine Berman and their daughter Ann.
“Bill, Madge and Ann Berman are dedicated supporters of Wayne State, and even more importantly, they are dedicated supporters of education,” Wayne State University President Allan Gilmour said. “The Crossing the Finish Line Annual Scholarship Fund, established through their foundation, helps hardworking students complete their degrees and achieve their educational goals.”
The scholarship fund is intended to provide eligible students up to $5,000 for the 2013-14 academic year. Crossing the Finish Line Scholars will need to have completed 110 or more undergraduate credits and earned a GPA of 2.5 or better.
Additionally, students must be residents of Detroit aside from their Wayne State living arrangements, attend classes full time, demonstrate financial need through the Free Application for Student Financial Aid, and have had to temporarily stop taking classes during one of the past four semesters.
“Too often we see students who have worked so hard for so long, but for a variety of reasons, they have had to suspend their education,” said Corinne Webb, associate vice president for enrollment management at Wayne State. “This scholarship from the Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation addresses this prominent issue, and helps students keep their focus on their studies and graduate.”
Scholarship support allows students with financial need to concentrate on their studies and not have to worry about costs. A 2009 study by Public Agenda found that students who leave college before completing their degree cite needing to work as the primary reason and that greater financial assistance would have made the biggest difference in completing their studies.
“No one starts taking courses at a university with the intention of not getting their degree,” Bill Berman said. “But sometimes there are so many obstacles to overcome, it can be difficult to continue. We set up this scholarship to encourage students to finish what they started, to get their degree and pursue their dreams. And we hope they continue to pursue their dreams in Detroit and contribute to our city.”