The benefits to completing an associate degree are numerous and well-documented.  That’s why Spoon River College is partnering with the SRC Foundation to help get people across the finish line with a new scholarship opportunity, available during the Fall 2022, Spring 2023, and Summer 2023 semesters only.

Anyone who is nine or fewer credit hours from completing their associate degree and did not take courses in the Spring 2022 or Summer 2022 semesters may qualify for the new “Finish What You Start” Scholarship during the 2022-23 academic year for courses necessary to completing their degree.  Through this new opportunity, the SRC Foundation will pay two-thirds of the tuition and all fees.  The student will be responsible for paying one-third of the tuition and paying for books or materials.

“Through our research, we realized there are potentially hundreds of students in our district who only needed a handful of credits to finish their degrees,” said Brandi Ketcham, SRC Advisor, whose idea got the initiative rolling.  “It’s our hope that this will inspire them to return to SRC to finish what they started.”

Data has shown that an associate degree can be used to obtain a higher salary or a better job.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with an associate degree are more likely to find employment than those with some college coursework but no degree.  On average, those with an associate degree earned $244 more per month in 2020 than those with some college coursework but no degree.

“In this increasingly-competitive workforce, there has never been a better time to have a college degree,” said Missy Wilkinson, SRC Dean of Student Services.  “Earning your degree matters, and this scholarship opportunity will give that opportunity to students who might not have been able to afford to make the decision to re-enroll.”

The Finish What You Start Scholarship is entirely privately funded by donations to the SRC Foundation, which is responsible for the scholarship’s administration.  The scholarship application will be available on a rolling basis, and scholarships will be available until funds are expended.

“While I’m grateful to SRC’s Student Services Department for their foresight in developing this idea and to our Board of Directors for supporting the scholarship, our biggest debt of gratitude is to our donors,” said Colin Davis, Executive Director of the SRC Foundation.  “It’s their generosity that gives us the ability to launch new initiatives like this and to provide excellent educational opportunities at Spoon River College.”

Preference will be given to students with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or greater, and students must be degree-seeking.  Anyone who believes they may be eligible should contact an SRC advisor as soon as possible to see if they meet the qualifications and to set up a degree plan.  Advisors will help you enroll in the appropriate coursework and complete the necessary steps to be eligible for the Finish What You Start Scholarship.

“Student success is our number one goal at Spoon River College and our faculty and staff are dedicated to helping students succeed,” said Curt Oldfield, President of SRC.  “We hope that the Finish What You Start Scholarship will help motivate those who are already so close to the finish line to make the last push to earn their associate degree.”

To learn more about Spoon River College, the SRC Foundation, or the Finish What You Start Scholarship, call (309) 647-4645 or visit  Fall 2022 classes begin August 22.