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How St. Ambrose students could be eligible for up to $16,000 in scholarship money

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- A new scholarship is offering students the potential to get up to $16,000 in scholarship money towards their degree at St. Ambrose University.

The scholarship program is funded through a $1.38 million estate gift, given by Dale and Lavonne "Bonnie" McFarlin.  This is the largest scholarship gift in the school's 137-year history.

The Dale and Lavonne "Bonnie" McFarlin Scholars Program will give four students $4,000 per year each year.  The award will renew each year until the student graduates with an undergraduate degree, for up to four years.

Here's what it takes to be eligible:

  • Be accepted to St. Ambrose
  • Be a first-year or transfer student
  • Have attended high school in Iowa
  • Have a 3.0 GPA, an ACT score of 20 or an SAT score of 1040

Preference will go to students who attended high school in Davenport or in rural Iowa.  Students who have exhibited leadership to the community or provided service to others will also be preferred.  Financial need will also be considered as well as the quality of the applicant's interview with a St. Ambrose dean or Provost Paul Koch, PhD.

"These students won't have to come to us as academic superstars, but if they bring an eagerness to grow and succeed, we are confident the program we are crating will honor the McFarlins' wishes in very impactful ways," said James Loftus, PhD, St. Ambrose' vice president for enrollment management.

The McFarlins grew to love St. Ambrose in the early 1970s when they left their farm in western Iowa and moved to Davenport.  The pair had frequent interactions with faculty, staff, and students while they were living in the area.

The couple has since passed away, but they decided to give their estate to St. Ambrose.  Their farm property was given to St. Ambrose in exchange for a charitable gift annuity, which gave them a tax deduction and a lifetime stream of annual income.  In addition, Bonnie gave St. Ambrose her Davenport home before the end of her life.

According to St. Ambrose, the total worth of the McFarlin's gifts was $1,382,866.

Students who have been accepted to start in the fall of 2020 may apply through February 15, 2020.  Click here for the McFarlin Scholars application. 

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