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Swap meet: Sheepskin for a building

Upper Peninsula State Roundup

November 1, 2009


Ron Wirtz Editor, fedgazette
Swap meet: Sheepskin for a building

A unique scholarship opportunity has been developed at an Upper Peninsula school, thanks to a real estate deal.

Finlandia University, located on the northern tip of the U.P. in Hancock, was reportedly looking for land or facilities to expand. At the same time, the local school district had excess facilities.

Administrators for the university and school district then developed a win-win proposal: The school district handed over a classroom facility that was no longer needed, as well as an athletic field, and the university agreed to admit any qualified graduate of the local high school, for at least the next 12 years, for free.

The university, founded in 1896 by Finnish immigrants during the copper boom in the region, is raising money to rehab the building in an effort to expand enrollment in health sciences and athletic programs. Local students who benefit from the deal will be required to donate any federal and state grant money they receive in financial aid, according to local news reports.

Ron Wirtz
Editor, fedgazette

Ron Wirtz is a Minneapolis Fed regional outreach director. Ron tracks current business conditions, with a focus on employment and wages, construction, real estate, consumer spending, and tourism. In this role, he networks with businesses in the Bank’s six-state region and gives frequent speeches on economic conditions. Follow him on Twitter @RonWirtz.