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Scores of Northwest freshmen from lower-income families are well on their way to a college degree thanks to the University’s pioneering American Dream Grant, a needs-based financial assistance program believed to be unique in American public higher education.
Virtually none of the grant recipients would be able to attend college without American Dream assistance.
“We are pleased that the program has proven so successful," said Del Morley, Northwest's director of financial aid. "These students continue to make their grades, adjust well to college life and post success rates similar to or better than the general student population."
All American Dream students receive tuition, room and board, use of a laptop computer and basic textbooks. The grant is renewable for a second year, and Missouri residency is not required.
The only cost to students is $2,000 for each of the two years – an amount roughly equal to working during the school year for ten hours a week at minimum wage.
In the past, a number of U.S. colleges have offered needs-based assistance that pays tuition. But Northwest is the only institution to include room and board, computer use and textbooks.
To qualify for an American Dream Grant, a potential student must meet all first-time freshman admissions standards, apply for and receive a federal Pell Grant and come from a family with a combined taxed and untaxed income of $30,000 or less. They must also apply for all other available scholarships and grants for which they might be eligible.