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McNair scholar Ashley Chabot ’13 is pursuing a career in integrated biomedical science. While at Earlham, she helped annotate the malaria genome with Associate Professor of Biology Peter Blair during two summers. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Delaware.

Earlham embraces 'innovative' solutions for students with high financial need, Forbes says

February 23, 2015

Earlham College has been recognized by Forbes magazine for its commitment to access for promising students with high financial need.

Earlham’s Bonner and McNair scholarship programs are “creative solutions to embracing this mission,” Forbes says in its report, “4 Innovative Ways Colleges and Universities are Fighting Poverty.”

“Colleges must ensure that students from all backgrounds not only matriculate but also receive the support they need to complete degrees and to graduate with the intellectual and social capital needed to make meaningful contributions in the workplace,” Forbes says.

Earlham is among 22 colleges or universities in the United States hosting a Bonner Scholars Program that awards 15 first-year students with four-year scholarships and leadership training for continued participation in community outreach. Bonner Scholars complete 140 hours of service per semester, about 10 hours per week, and two summers of service.

“Bonner is all about access to educational opportunities and an opportunity to serve,” says Earlham Bonner Scholars Program Coordinator Adetokunbo Adeshile ’09. “These students have showed leadership in various ways before even coming to College. Now, they work all over the community and help organizations that rely on volunteers with capacity building so that their needs can be met consistently.”

Bonner Scholars often carry their passion for service with them after graduation.

Tyrian Robertson ’17, a native of New Orleans, has plans to form a start-up to help communities rebound from natural disasters. Before arriving at Earlham, Robertson dedicated hundreds of service hours to Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans as part of her first summer service. 

Similarly, the Ronald E. McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement Program provides Ph.D. preparation opportunities to high-achieving students who have traditionally been underrepresented in graduate studies. Earlham is one of 150 institutions with a McNair program.

As participants in the program, McNair scholars have access to skills building courses and tutoring, six-week summer research experiences with a faculty mentor, and individualized assistance through the graduate school application process.

McNair scholar Ashley Chabot ’13 is pursuing a career in integrated biomedical science. While at Earlham, she helped annotate the malaria genome with Associate Professor of Biology Peter Blair during two summers. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Delaware.

“Without a program like this, many of our students wouldn’t know about the value of graduate school or might perceive advanced degrees simply as having to complete more school,” Earlham McNair Program Director Joe Green says. “We specialize in helping students navigate the application process so our students can unlock more opportunities and position themselves for post-graduate success.”

In addition to the Bonner and McNair programs, Earlham sponsors a variety of initiatives to support underserved students. By building relationships with many national, regional, and local foundations, Earlham has identified academically talented students who would thrive at Earlham.

“Many prospective first generation college students never consider attending selective private liberal arts colleges like Earlham,” says Vice President for Enrollment and Communications Jonathan Stroud. “They are neither familiar with such institutions or assume they are out of reach both educationally and financially. Our goal is to support their enrollment so they can reach their potential and add to the vitality of our community.”

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Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at (765) 983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.

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