Reach Higher Montana is providing grants for hundreds of students in need for the 2017 spring semester. The state’s STEM scholarship program did not have enough funds for scholarship awards that many students anticipated receiving. Reach Higher Montana Executive Director Kelly Cresswell explains.

“We acted quickly and were able to identify some funding that we had within our organization that could address a chunk of the need so that is what we did,” said Cresswell. “We acted quickly and we are delivering the funds to the campuses to help those students who were affected by the STEM scholarship shortfall.”

According to Cresswell, Reach Higher Montana was only able to provide a portion of the amount of funds needed. They will allocate $232,000 in an effort to help over 300 students.

“It is probably just slightly less than half,” Cresswell said. “Some of the students who were receiving the scholarship for whatever reason may or may not be coming back for spring semester. They may have changed their major. Dialing it down to the exact final amount will take a little bit of time. We have been able to identify the students working with the campuses that needed the assistance for spring semester most definitely and that is what we were able to provide.”

The Montana Lottery proceeds were suppose to fund the program, but state education officials announced that the lottery did not generate enough revenue to pay for the scholarships.