MCLA Students Awarded Tsongas Scholarships By Massachusetts State University System


NORTH ADAMS, MA - Seven Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) students were recognized by the Massachusetts State University System in a State House ceremony on Monday for their academic talents and dedication by being named Tsongas Scholars. Tsonga Scholarships cover full tuition and fees at any of the nine campuses of the State University System.

MCLA students who are among this year's Tsongas scholars include Samantha K. Barbarotta '14 of Pittsfield, Bridget M. Blaisdell '14 of Wilmington, Jake Bonenfant '14 of Taunton, Elizabeth Davis '14 of Boxford, Paul J. LaPointe '14 of North Brookfield and Jon Oleson '14 of Florida.

Scholarship awards are merit-based, and financial need is not required for eligibility. Tsongas Scholarships are granted to students who graduated high school with GPAs of at least 3.75 or academic ranking in the top 10 percent of their classes. Students can receive Tsongas Scholarship funding for all four years, although to renew funding students must maintain a 3.3 GPA and meet any other requirements set by individual institutions.

The program was launched in 1998 by the Board of Higher Education as a tribute to the late Paul E. Tsongas, who died in 1997. It was designed to further Senator Tsongas' belief in the value of education and the importance of public colleges and universities in providing all citizens access to academic excellence. In addition to his many other contributions to the public good, Senator Tsongas once served as chair of the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education, the precursor to today's Board of Higher Education.

The nine-campus Massachusetts State University System comprises four-year, baccalaureate and master's degree-granting teaching universities. They include six comprehensive institutions that combine a liberal arts education with professional development training, which include Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Salem State University, Westfield State University, Worcester State University, and three specialized institutions, including MCLA in North Adams, Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay. The state university system educates more than 51,000 students each year, and has more than 225,000 alumni.

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