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Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholarship grant aids NMSU non-traditional students

After health issues forced Araceli Vera to withdraw from the university as a sophomore, studying was a challenge when she returned to New Mexico State University. As a Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholarship recipient, Vera received not only financial assistance but also support such as workshops, one-on-one mentoring and financial literacy training.


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New Mexico State University communications studies senior Araceli Vera is a Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholarship recipient. The grant, which has been awarded to NMSU for the third time, helps non-traditional students earn undergraduate degrees from the university. (NMSU photo by Tiffany Acosta)

“It makes it easier to go to school. It’s a weight lifted off my shoulders,” she said. “And it really helped me a lot getting back to the flow of studying.”

In May, the 31-year-old will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies with minors in marketing and linguistics.

Following awards in 2015 and 2017, the NMSU Foundation recently received a $50,000 grant from the Daniels Fund to provide Boundless Opportunity Scholarships to non-traditional students, which will fund scholarships for 25 students for two years.

“The Daniels Fund Boundless Opportunity Scholarship Program provides much-needed financial assistance for two of the hardest working and determined groups of NMSU students: returning adults and military veterans,” said Tony Marin, assistant vice president of student affairs.

The scholarships help students with expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies and transportation and commuting costs. Scholarship recipients will be selected this summer and awarded for the fall 2019 semester. Students can apply for the scholarships by May 31 through the NMSU Scholar Dollar$ program at https://scholarships.nmsu.edu/.

Vera admits returning to school after a break can be hard but she encourages non-traditional students to not give up.

“Having an opportunity like the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship is a great way to get your education going,” she said. “It’s OK ask for help, it’s OK to be older than everybody else. Everything will work out, just keep working at it. When you come back to school after taking a break you’re more mature. You know what you what. You’re more focused.”

“The financial assistance is key as is the professional mentoring provided by the Student Success Center’s Senior Student Program Coordinator Yvonne Franco,” Marin said. “The combination of the Daniels Fund’s generous financial assistance, professional mentoring and most importantly, the determination and work-ethic of the DFBOS scholars is just one more example of student success initiatives that have had positive outcomes related to persistence and degree completion rates. We are very proud of the success of our DFBOS Scholars and truly are grateful for the partnership with the Daniels Fund.”

The Daniels Fund is a private charitable foundation that continues the legacy of generosity established by its founder Bill Daniels, through grant and scholarship programs and other initiatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.