Just days before Christmas, Bethany College has been presented a generous gift in support of its new Good Life Scholarship, which offers four-year, full-tuition for all graduates of Saline and McPherson County high schools beginning in 2017.

The Earl Bane Foundation, a charitable foundation in Salina, gifted Bethany College $200,000 for the scholarship.

“We are thankful for the gift and to the members of the foundation who see the critical importance of this opportunity for our local students, our area economy, and Bethany,” Bethany College President Will Jones said. “The Earl Bane Foundation is an ideal partner to work with on this community development effort.”

The Salina foundation gives primarily to higher education, children, youth, and social service projects, and to other qualified organizations for the educational, economic, scientific, and religious benefit of Salina and Saline County. According to Foundation Secretary Mindy Tillberg, Bethany’s Good Life Scholarship fits nicely into the foundation’s focus.

“Our guiding principal is how will a project benefit our community children and youth, and education,” Tillberg said. “The Good Life Scholarship goes right alongside with what we are trying to do.  When we heard what Bethany was doing, we knew we wanted to get on board. Hopefully, others will follow our lead. Just think of all the lives it will impact.”

The Good Life Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition scholarships valued at $110,000 and available to any Saline or McPherson County high school graduate upon acceptance to Bethany beginning in the fall of 2017. Since it was announced on December 1, there has been a great deal of interest in it, according to Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Matt Pfannenstiel.

“Students and families have expressed surprise and gratitude after learning about the scholarship,” Pfannenstiel said. “I have been hearing from students that this scholarship will make it possible for them to attend college.”

The scholarship is offered to first-time freshman. Transfer students, who may have graduated from a local high school, and other students outside of Saline and McPherson Counties can take advantage of the college’s Merit Scholarships, which range from $7,500 to $16,000 and are based on grades and standardized test scores.

Community informational sessions are planned in Salina and McPherson for students and parents wanting more information about the Good Life Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities. Members of the Bethany College admission and financial aid offices will be available in Salina on Monday, January 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Salina Public Library and in McPherson on January 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the McPherson Public Library.