Application deadline March 1 for educational opportunity scholarship

Monday, February 23, 2015

LAWRENCE — Qualifying University of Kansas students have until Sunday, March 1, to submit applications for the 2015 Jerry Bailey Educational Opportunity Scholarship. The award is part of the Achievement & Assessment Institute’s (AAI) Center for Educational Opportunity Programs (CEOP) and was established to support underrepresented and first-generation students with limited income as they pursue undergraduate degrees at KU. One to two participants annually receive onetime awards ranging from $750 to $1,000.

Students may download application materials here.

CEOP serves approximately 4,000 Kansas students each year through 10 federal- and state-funded programs that help underrepresented and non-traditional students enter and succeed in college.

Eligibility/Selection Criteria

Applicants must be newly entering freshmen, transfer students or continuing undergraduate students at KU, and they must be enrolled full-time (12+ credits) during the fall term of the scholarship award. The Selection Committee will give preference to applicants who meet as many of the following criteria as possible:

  • Demonstrate financial need;
  • Are first-generation college students, meaning neither parent/guardian has earned a four-year college degree;
  • Are current or former participants of a KU CEOP program (TRIO, GEAR UP and/or Migrant programs);
  • Have achieved academic success despite hardship or unusual challenge(s);
  • Demonstrate personal motivation for achieving academic and career goals

Last spring CEOP announced the first Bailey Scholarship recipients: Nina Nganga and Essence Shepard. Nganga came to KU from her native Kenya via Sacramento, California, where her family had emigrated in December 2011. A biochemistry major, her goal is to become a physician. Shepard graduated in May 2014 from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas, and is a pre-business major at KU planning a career in accounting.

“I have a passion for helping people, and having come from Kenya and seeing the poor access to health care there, I want ultimately to be a part of changing the system there,” Nganga said. “Scholarship support has enabled me to focus on why I’m at KU. I can concentrate on my studies and on getting the most out of my college experience instead of worrying so much about where the money is coming from to purchase books and other resources.”

The award honors Jerry Bailey, associate professor emeritus of education, who led more than 200 sponsored programs within the School of Education and was instrumental in the development and growth of current CEOP programs. “The work that my colleagues do is just extraordinary, and I am honored to help with the fund,” Bailey said. “It really only carries my name — they are responsible for all of the good work.”

“Jerry Bailey is a wonderful friend and colleague and was key to our center’s development,” said CEOP Director Ngondi Kamatuka. “He believes in our mission. This scholarship honors his commitment to help students gain access and achieve success in higher education.”

To support educational opportunity programs in Jerry Bailey’s honor, please contact Brian Friedman at 785-832-7465 or

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