Wright State University Foundation accepting applications for Students First Fund

Grants program supports student success initiatives

For the second year in a row, the Wright State University Foundation is accepting applications for the Students First Fund — a grants program designed to support innovative ideas that assist students to succeed, thrive, persist, graduate and begin their careers.

“Our Foundation Board of Trustees is 100% committed to the success of Wright State’s students,” said Dave Deptula, chair of the Students First Fund grants committee and a member of the Wright State University Foundation Board of Trustees. “The Students First Fund empowers the board to take a more active role in the success of our students and to provide valuable financial support for student success initiatives that might otherwise go unfunded.”

All Wright State students, faculty and staff with a creative concept to promote student success are welcome to apply for a Students First Fund grant. Grant applications must be submitted on the Students First Fund website by Feb. 28.

The Students First Fund grants committee, which consists of members of the Foundation Board of Trustees, will review all applications and make the final decision on how to distribute the $50,000 in grants funding. Recipients of the Students First Fund will be announced in April, and the funding will be available for use in fall semester 2020.

“Ideally, we are looking for projects that will become self-sustaining,” Deptula said. “The foundation board views the Students First Fund as one-time seed money to help launch a new program or initiative. We’d love to help these worthwhile projects get started, but then the ball’s in their court to keep the momentum going.”

Deptula emphasized that it’s important for applicants to understand that the Students First Fund is a grants program, not a scholarship initiative.

“Our goal is to impact large groups of students,” said Deptula. “We have limited dollars to work with and want to touch the lives of as many students as we can.”

For its first year of funding, the Students First Fund grants committee received 39 grant applications requesting more than $211,000 in funding. Thirteen projects were approved with awards ranging from $1,000 to $6,000.

Livescribe pens that help students with disabilities take notes in the classroom, an on-campus closet with donated professional attire for students, and a peer mentoring program for nursing students at the Lake Campus were among the projects that were approved for the first round of Students First Fund grants.

“This was a highly competitive process,” said Deptula. “With only $50,000 available for funding, we worked very hard to stretch the money as far as possible. We look forward to reviewing the applications for this next round of funding and seeing all of the innovative ideas that our students, faculty and staff present.”

An informational session about the Students First Fund will be offered on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m. in the Student Union Endeavour Room. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend to learn more about the grants program and the application process.

For more information on the Students First Fund, visit wright.edu/StudentsFirstFund.

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