Impact of Sustained Scholarship: Enduring Opportunities for High-Quality Education
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Abstract: The mixed-methods research study was designed to identify outcomes of sustained scholarship support on a targeted group of students. The investigation explored the influence of receiving ongoing scholarship funds on the recipients, their families, and on the school’s culture. The identified sample of students attended a non-profit private preschool and was then awarded a scholarship to attend a private, faith-based preparatory institution serving students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade in a rural hub city. Two scholarships are given annually to preschool students who have demonstrated academic potential and whose families actively engage in their child’s education. Data was collected from 26 study participants from three subgroups: 1) adult and minor scholarship recipients, 2) parents of scholarship recipients, and 3) faculty and staff of the preparatory school. Adult participants responded to online survey questions, while minor recipients were asked face-to-face interview questions at the school. Data analysis revealed that diversification of the student population by race, background, and socio-economic may help students identify more easily with the world around them and be more accepting of different cultures. Analysis of the data also highlighted that even though the scholarship funds covered the students’ tuition, there were additional expenses that were sometimes prohibitive for the scholarship recipients, such as school uniforms, field trips, and unplanned costs. Conclusions drawn from the data reveal that a positive school culture enables all students to feel a sense of belonging, participate actively in the educational community, and develop meaningful social relationships.