The National Science Foundation has partnered with Boise State and five other universities to help engineering students succeed.
The NSF gave Boise State University $907,000 to create an academic redshirt program for engineering students. The idea is similar to athletic redshirt programs that allow a young athlete to take a year to develop without it counting against his or her college eligibility cap of four years.
The academic program targets nontraditional students, such as those from low-income families who are eligible for Pell Grants, and provides extra help freshman year. Low-income students typically have lower retention rates than other students, said Janet Callahan, professor at Boise State’s Micron School of Material Science and Engineering.
The NSF gave about $5 million in all to Boise State, the University of Colorado in Boulder, the University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Illinois and the University of California in San Diego.
The money will support about 800 students. Boise State will give scholarships worth between $2,000 and $10,000 to about 110 students with the money , Callahan said.