EKU scholarship fund to help first-generation students

Eastern Kentucky University has created a scholarship fund to help students become the first in their families to earn a college degree.

The Trailblazer Scholarship Award is being started with a fund of $250,000, EKU officials announced Tuesday.

First-generation students who will be new freshmen in fall 2016 can apply until March 1, 2016 for an award of up to $2,000. The award amount may vary depending upon the individual’s need and academic record. Priority will be given to students who are not receiving other institutional merit aid. Students will receive written notification in April.

This fall, more than 800 new freshmen entering EKU were first-generation students.

“Serving this population of students has been at the heart of Eastern’s mission for over a century,” said Dr. Brett Morris, executive director for enrollment management at EKU. “This scholarship will help fulfill unmet needs many first-generation families experience when attempting to find affordable, quality college options for their children.”

According to a recent report from the Pell Institute, many first-generation students find that raising tuition costs are outweighing aid offers from schools.

The Trailblazer Scholarship application form is available online at The application should be accompanied by a written essay and a letter of recommendation from a school official. Students must have also completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for the award.

Linda Blackford: 859-231-1359, @lbblackford