The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has a scholarship opportunity that is helping new graduate students successfully transition into their graduate school years.
The Get Your Feet Wet Scholarship is providing some welcome financial relief for new graduate students. Thanks to generous support from the George W. Donaghey Foundation, the program supports graduate students in their first semester of study by paying tuition for one three-credit-hour course in the student’s program.
For John Morris, who is working a full-time job while earning his master’s degree in public history, the scholarship relieved a lot of his worries about starting graduate school.
“The scholarship helped me feel confident about my decision,” Morris said. “It diminished the personal financial strain, and I was able to fully commit to my studies. I was very excited to receive the Get Your Feet Wet Scholarship because it made continuing my educational journey with UA Little Rock so much easier.”
Graduate students starting in the Spring 2023 semester still have time to apply. Applications can be filled out online and are due on Jan. 9. To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. students fully admitted to a graduate program at UA Little Rock who are about to start their first semester in graduate school.
“Offering funding for new graduate students plays an important role in making graduate education more accessible for them,” said Dr. Karen Kuralt, associate dean of the Graduate School. “It also boosts their confidence in their decision to attend. Getting these students enrolled for one semester increases the chances that graduate students will be able to find additional support for future semesters and persist to complete their degrees.”
During the scholarship’s first year during the 2021-22 academic year, UA Little Rock awarded 25 Get Your Feet Wet Scholarships to graduate students across 13 programs. Half of the award winners were brand new students to UA Little Rock, having completed their undergraduate degrees at other universities. Nearly 80 percent of the recipients were parents seeking graduate degrees as a means to change careers or advance in their current careers.
Deshae Craig, a single mother and online student from Arkadelphia who is earning her master’s degree in mental health counseling, said the scholarship helped her afford some much-needed books for her education.
“The scholarship helped my education because several books were required in my courses, and that’s what it was used for,” she said. “I loved buying them instead of renting them. They are a necessity to the real world for me!”
During the Fall 2021 semester, 13 of the 14 students who accepted awards successfully completed the semester, and 10 of those went on to enroll for the Spring 2022 semester, a retention rate of just over 71 percent. All 11 of the students who accepted awards in Spring 2022 are still enrolled in classes.
Jasmin Avery is pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice with plans to work in forensics in the future. She said the scholarship reminds her that people are supportive of her dreams and want to see her succeed.
“This scholarship has opened the door for so many more opportunities than I can count,” Avery said. “Because of this scholarship, I have gotten the chance to ‘get my feet wet’ and get back into something much bigger than myself, a forever dreamed master’s degree. I now know that attending grad school was the best decision for me, as I get to live out my dreams one step at a time.”
For more information about the Get Your Feet Wet Scholarship program, please contact Dr. Kuralt at firstname.lastname@example.org.