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New plan aims to get more Idahoans into college

The Idaho State Board of Education is proposing a temporary rule aimed at increasing the number of Idaho students eligible to apply for the Opportunity Scholarship.

The rule would lower the minimum GPA requirement for all students from 3.0 to 2.7 and enable adult learners with a 2.5 GPA to both apply and renew the scholarship as long as they maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA after returning to school.

Several other proposals are also aimed at “adult learners.” Those include requiring adults to have “stopped out” for 24 months or more but makes an exception for students who enrolled in a maximum of two courses during that time. Adult learners would be allowed to attend part-time. The proposal would also require institutions to work with Adult Learners to determine if they can receive college credits for prior learning gained in industry or the military.

All scholarship recipients would be required to show progress on their education plans in order to maintain eligibility.

A new board policy would address textbook affordability and make it possible for students to earn college credit when they need additional support in math and English courses.

In other business during its Pocatello meetings this week, the board approved a request from Idaho State University to begin planning renovations of four campus residence halls. The work is not to exceed $5 million and is subject to future board approval of a financing plan.

And, the board approved a maintenance and improvement plan for the ISU president’s residence. The historic Servel house was purchased by the university 65 years ago. The last major work on the residence happened 25 years ago. Renovations will use university reserve funds and will be spread out over 4 years at a cost of about $300,000.

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