France-Merrick Foundation Funds NDMU’s First-generation Student Scholarship

$500K Grant Establishes First NDMU Scholarship Dedicated to First-generation Students
Three women students sit together outside in front of a brick building


(BALTIMORE, Md.) – A new $500,000 grant from the France-Merrick Foundation will establish the first endowed scholarship designated for Notre Dame of Maryland University students who are the first in their families to attend college. 
The France-Merrick Foundation Endowed Scholarship for First-generation Students will increase access to higher education for a growing student population at NDMU. Once activated, the program will award students up to a $25,000 annual scholarship. The first students selected for the scholarship will enroll in the 2024-25 academic year. 
“We are grateful for the support of the France-Merrick Foundation in establishing an endowed scholarship fund that will have a tremendous impact on generations of Notre Dame students,” said Dr. Marylou Yam, president of Notre Dame of Maryland University. “This endowed scholarship will provide greater access for first-generation college students to attain a college degree and experience an inclusive transformational education.” 
NDMU has a history of creating pathways to make higher education more accessible. The University ranked #22 in the regional north on the U.S. News Best Colleges’ Top Performers on Social Mobility list, indicating how well the University graduates students with high financial need. Notre Dame has long provided specialized academic and student support services for first-generation college students, including the innovative Trailblazer Scholars Program

The endowed fund will add to the institutional scholarships available to students in need. Nearly all students in the NDMU Women’s College receive some form of financial aid. Nearly half of the Women’s College students are the first in their families to attend a college or university, and about half qualify for the federal Pell Grant, designed for students with the highest financial need. 

The $500,000 grant highlights an ongoing partnership between NDMU and the France-Merrick Foundation. Past support includes several projects to enhance campus facilities, including the France-Merrick Foundation Digital Media Lab and the France-Merrick Communication Arts Suite. 

The grant is part of the $45 million Go BeyoND: The Campaign for NDMU to support the University's transformational initiatives, including generating additional funding for student scholarships. Key campaign priorities include $13.2 million to fund student scholarships, $9 million to renovate the Knott Science Center, and $3 million to support faculty scholarship and research.

Established in 1895, Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) is a private, Catholic institution in Baltimore, Maryland, with the mission to educate leaders to transform the world. Notre Dame has been named one of the best "Regional Universities North" by U.S. News & World Report.



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