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by Rachel Toyer, JOUR 3000


Stephanie Ortega faced this and other problems when she was a junior at North Denver High School in Colorado. “I didn’t want to live the same life everyone else was living,” said Ortega, who is now a public relations major at HPU. She applied for and received a Daniel’s Fund Scholarship, a program that was launched in 2000 to help aid financially restricted students reach their dream of higher education and better opportunity.

The Daniels Fund is a full-tuition scholarship that is based on financial need, leadership potential, strength of character, and dedication to the community. It was founded by Bill Daniels, the man considered the father of cable television, who understood that the difference between students who could and could not attend a four-year university was often their financial circumstances.

Because the program is so new, the first graduating recipients of the Daniel’s Fund were in 2004. Since then, according to the fund’s Director of Communications, Peter Droege, some 720 awards have been handed out to high school students to help them in their college life.

The process begins with an application and proof of financial need as demonstrated by tax returns. Academics and athleticism aren’t important factors. Both applicants and recipients receive continual support from the Daniels Fund community. The Daniels Fund College Prep Program helps students with the application process, including writing their essay and submitting all the required documents. Students in the program meet once a month with coaches who guide them to prepare a flawless application.

Once the scholarship is awarded in the spring of the student’s graduating year, recipients participate in a summer bridge program called Daniels SHIFT (Scholars Heading Into the Future Together) that eases the transition between high school and college.

Students may use the scholarship award at any two- or four-year accredited college or university in the United States with the intention of completing a bachelor’s degree.

Costs covered include all required tuition and fees, housing, books and supplies, and a variety of other miscellaneous expenses, such as laptops, that could help students complete their education comfortably.

For Ortega, coming to HPU was a dream come true. “Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to experience the things I have here at HPU,” Ortega said.


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