Ole Miss-Tupelo Awards over $25,000 in Scholarships to Employees at CDF Member Organizations

Local workers take advantage of tuition benefit while continuing to work

TUPELO, Miss. — Since last fall, over $28,000 in scholarships has been awarded to Northeast Mississippians attending the University of Mississippi-Tupelo (UM-Tupelo) through the new North Mississippi Workforce Education incentive program.

Delaney Brennan Intern

Officials with the Community Development Foundation (CDF) of Tupelo formed a collaborative partnership with UM-Tupelo in August of 2019 to establish a tuition assistance program specifically for employees of CDF membership organizations.

The first full year of the program has seen 33 employees from a variety of businesses and organizations receive scholarships.

CDF President and CEO, David Rumbarger says that he is encouraged that so many local businesses and employees decided to continue their education this year.

“This tuition assistance partnership with Ole Miss-Tupelo is an example of the many long-term benefits of a CDF membership. We currently have 26 member businesses participating in the scholarship and hope that many others will take advantage of this great benefit for years to come.

“We are proud to assist our members in helping their employees earn an excellent and affordable higher education right here in Tupelo.”

Employees from a variety of Tupelo businesses and organizations are taking advantage of this opportunity. There is no cap on how many students can apply from any one workplace.

These funds can be combined with other awards and financial aid to help cover education expenses for both full-time and part-time employees of CDF member organizations. Awardees may receive $500 per semester, up to $2,000 total when enrolled at the UM-Tupelo campus for at least six credit hours.

UM-Tupelo Executive Director Derek Markley said that he is especially encouraged that these funds have been available to help Tupelo area workers, in light of the challenging year that Covid-19 has dealt our community.

“Our partnership with CDF has allowed us to make college more affordable for people living and working in northeast Mississippi. This is a collaborative effort that helps individuals reach their academic goals and assists CDF member organizations by creating a more highly-educated workforce.”