Scholarship winner targets problems in higher education

  Gregory Murphy

University of California San Diego graduate Gregory Murphy has been selected to receive a University of California Alumni “Change the World” Scholarship from UC San Diego Extension to study finance as part of plans to create an organization to help college students.

The UC San Diego Extension Scholarship Committee cited his commitment to developing a sustainable business solution to help address several problems in higher education.

“First and foremost is the problem of affordability and access,” says Murphy ‘08. “College tuition costs have increased 30 percent the last ten years and with the state’s structural deficit problems, that scenario is likely to worsen in the next decade.”

According to Murphy, currently a policy adviser for San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, there are three main challenges.

“First, roughly two-thirds of undergraduate students graduate with student debt, and of those students, the average debt is $24,000,” says Murphy. “The second major problem is the rate of graduation. Only 60% of students at public four-year institutions graduate within six years of matriculation. Finally, the third major problem is unemployment. Almost 10% of recent graduates are unable to find jobs. Meanwhile U.S. employers can hardly recruit enough employees with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering or math. We need to re-tool our workforce.”

The company Murphy is creating offers a sustainable business solution to these challenges under a new form of corporate governance. “A Benefit Corporation integrates the public benefits of a non-profit organization with the structural incentives of a for-profit company,” says Murphy.

The scholarship is awarded to UC graduates who demonstrate outstanding promise and potential.

Murphy, who graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, will use his scholarship to pursue a certificate in finance. All of the more than 1 million UC alumni are eligible to apply for merit scholarships of up to $5,500 to enter any continuing education certificate or special study program offered by UC San Diego Extension.

All persons who have received a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from any UC campus are eligible to apply by completing an online “Change the World” Scholarship form from the Web site before the next deadline date of January 15, 2012.

What does it mean to change the world? The definition is purposely broad, and can range from cultural enrichment to regional economic development. UC San Diego Extension is looking to reward alumni with the promise and potential to improve the quality of life in San Diego, and beyond. In the application essay, potential recipients can explain how they would help California build a globally competitive talent pool, accelerate economic vitality or foster community-building conversations if they receive this advanced training.

Certificate programs offer a practical, concentrated study in a specific professional area and most can be started any academic quarter. For the convenience of working adults, classes for most of UC San Diego Extension’s certificate programs and specialized study programs are held evenings and weekends on the UC San Diego main campus and two other locations in University City and Mission Valley.

UC San Diego offers approximately 80 certificates or special study programs. Some areas of possible study for career changers or those wishing to add new skills to their resume include: Business; Digital Arts; Education; Engineering and Defense Technology; English Language Studies; Foreign Languages; Healthcare and Behavioral Sciences; Humanities and Writing; Information Technology and Software Engineering; Law; Leadership and Management Development; Life Sciences; Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health; Photography, Art and Music, and Public Service, Social Responsibility and Sustainable Business.

Certificate programs at UC San Diego Extension have never been more popular.  This past year UC San Diego Extension had approximately 56,000 enrollees, which translates to a record 26,000 students in more than 4,900 courses.

The “Change the World” scholarships are automatically renewed, provided the recipient continues to pass their coursework and remains active in the certificate program. Scholarships cover tuition only, are non-transferable and carry no cash value.

Scholarships are awarded each academic quarter. Applications must be received by January 15, April 15, July 15, or October 15. Recipients and non-recipients are notified by email by March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15. Applications will be considered for the upcoming quarter. The UC San Diego Extension Scholarship Committee will review scholarship applications four times a year and reserves the right not to award a scholarship.

UC San Diego News on the web at:

Posted: 11/28/2011 12:00:00 AM by UC San Diego Extension | with 0 comments
Filed under: Continuing-education, San-diego-job, Scholarships, Uc-san-diego, Ucsd-extension

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