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Ferris State University will begin scholarship fund for foster youth through $350,000 endowment

Michael Barera

Ferris State University has announced a new $700,000 scholarship aimed at helping children in foster care receive a college education.

The scholarship comes in part through an endowment from University President David Eisler and his wife.

President Eisler said the program will help foster students attend college and will support students throughout all four years.

“Very few foster children when they age out of the system actually go to college less than 20% and less than 3% nationally graduate from college,” he said. “We had the opportunity to provide some support for our foster youth in scholarships through them.”

President Eisler and his wife have committed $350,000 to the scholarship. Their endowment will be matched by the Ferris Foundation.

“The foundation will double that gift so it will be $700,000 for foster youth at Ferris,” he said. “Right now I believe we take somewheres between 25-30 foster students at Ferris and we will be able to help many of them.”

The scholarship was established to memorialize Norris and Irene Johnson - Patsy Eisler’s adoptive parents.

“I don’t ever remember not knowing that I was going to college,” Patsy said.

“I think this opportunity to honor Patsy’s parents is something that really has a profound impact on us and that we’re really pleased by,” President Eisler said.

Students benefiting from the scholarship will be called Johnson scholars.