New law gives Idaho's adult learners a second chance

Posted at 12:04 AM, Apr 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-14 02:04:48-04

A new law is giving Idahoans a second chance at higher education.Thousands of working Idahoans who attended college or a technical program, but took a break, will now be able to continue their education. It is thanks to dollars from a state opportunity scholarship program.

This program will help people like Robetta Kruger get back into the classroom. The program is geared toward helping working Idahoans or adult learners by providing them with scholarships. Robetta Kruger is thinking about going back to school. She says something like this can be really inspiring. 

"I think it's a great idea because it is, at this age, difficult to get back into the school system, especially with limited funds," said Kruger.

The funds will be available to those who have earned at least 24 credits in college or through a technical program. Educators are hoping this new program will make education a priority for everyone in the Gem state.  

"The state of Idaho has a goal set, and that is for all Idaho citizens between the ages of 25-34. The state of Idaho would like to see at least 60 percent of those folks have either a college degree or professional certificate," said Mike Keckler, spokesperson for the Idaho State Board of Education

The state would like to reach this threshold by 2025.

"If we are going to reach that goal, we have to help additional populations besides highs school graduates go back to school and earn those certificates or degrees," said Keckler.

Last year alone, the program helped roughly 4,000 high school seniors further their education.

The 2018 legislature approved $2.7 million to go into the adult completer scholarship, which will start July 1.

Kruger said the money could be a deciding factor that keeps people in her situation from going back to school. 

"Either you have children or you work and are trying to change careers. Or you may not be working at all, and you are trying to get that opportunity to get back in school," said Kruger.

Kruger believes this boost will help even more people achieve their dreams. 

The State Board will decide further eligibility and award details when the Board meets next week, April 18-19 in Moscow, at the University of Idaho.