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New Endowment Supports Transfer Students

The Bernard Osher Foundation gives $500,000 to help community college students reach their potential at UC Merced
November 1, 2012

Students transferring to the University of California, Merced, from California community colleges can apply for financial support thanks to a new endowed scholarship fund from The Bernard Osher Foundation.

The $500,000 gift to UC Merced provides scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per student to five to 10 transfer students who show the greatest potential to fulfill their educational goals at UC Merced.

The foundation, based in San Francisco, was founded by businessman and community leader Bernard Osher to help improve quality of life by supporting higher education and the arts.

“The Osher Foundation is delighted to support an endowed scholarship fund for California community college students who transfer to UC Merced,” said foundation President Mary Bitterman. “We believe that UC Merced will play an increasingly important role in educating the future leaders of our state, and we are honored to enter this important partnership for the benefit of residents in the Central Valley and beyond.”

Since 2005, more than 1,328 students entered UC Merced as state community college transfers and they have been an integral part of the campus community.

“The Bernard Osher Foundation has a long-standing commitment to support higher education throughout the nation and beyond,” said Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations Kyle Hoffman. “We are delighted that the foundation has chosen to support transfer students who decide to earn their undergraduate degree at UC Merced.”

Scholarship recipients will be identified as Osher Scholars and scholarship funds will be awarded annually, with the first awards being given in the 2013-14 academic year.

Selection of scholarship recipients will be coordinated by UC Merced’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships  and selections will be made each summer for the upcoming academic year.

To qualify, each student must:

  • Be enrolled as full-time or part-time, with incoming-junior or continuing-senior status;
  • Have started his or her post-secondary education at a California community college and be transferring into UC Merced with at least 60 semester or 90 quarter units; and
  • Demonstrate financial need and academic potential as determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
Quick Facts: 
UC Merced received a $500,000 donation from San Francisco-based The Bernard Osher Foundation.
The gift will support up to 10 Osher Scholars annually, with the first awards being given in 2013-14.
The scholarship will benefit incoming UC Merced transfer students who have demonstrated a financial need and shown academic promise in high school and community college.