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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 8, 2004

University Of Iowa Announces BLS Scholarship

In an effort to further support distance learning, the University of Iowa is providing $1,000 scholarship funds to every community college in Iowa to defray tuition cost for students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) degree.

Students are eligible for the scholarships if they are graduating with an associate of arts degree from any Iowa community college and have been formally admitted to the UI's BLS program for the fall 2004 semester.

Anne Zalenski, assistant director for advising services in the UI Center for Credit Programs, said such cooperation between the UI and community colleges presents a wonderful chance to advance education across the state.

"We are looking forward to developing even closer relationships with the community colleges as we work together to create opportunities that support the educational goals of Iowa's place-bound students," Zalenski said.

The Center for Credit Programs, which oversees the BLS program, will administer the scholarships, but it will be left to the community colleges to determine who receives the scholarships. They can divide the $1,000 among several students, or grant the total amount to a single recipient. Colleges can also grant scholarships to graduates already enrolled in BLS coursework.

While students may apply for admission to the BLS program at any time during the year, scholarships will be awarded once each year prior to the fall semester. To be considered for a scholarship, students' admissions must be confirmed by Aug. 15.

The BLS degree -- cooperatively sponsored by the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa -- is an external degree program that allows qualified students to complete their undergraduate degree without attending classes on a university campus.

The degree has been continually offered by Iowa's three Regents universities since the 1977, and about a thousand students from Iowa and across the country are active in the program. Under the cooperative Regents plan, the degree may be earned from any of the three schools, with a minimum of 32 semester hours required from the institution granting the degree.

More than 600 students have graduated from the UI with the BLS degree.

For more information about the scholarships or the BLS program, contact Zalenski toll-free, at 1-800-272-6430, or at 319-335-2575. She can also be reached by email at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, Program: Anne Zalenski, Center for Credit Programs, 1-800-272-6430 or 319-335-2575,