International Study Scholarship Legislation Passes U.S. Senate, President Next
NEW PALTZ -- Federal legislation establishing a scholarship program to help low income students study overseas is on its way to President Bill Clinton after the Senate passed the bill earlier this month.
The International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 was drafted and sponsored in the House of Representatives by Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman (R-Greenville) and Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-Saugerties) in the spring. When it passed the full House in July, Sen. Charles Schumer joined Sens. Richard Lugar (D-Ind.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Russel Feingold (D-Wisc.) in sponsoring the bill in the Senate.
In the Senate final version of the bill, grants under the act will be known as "Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships," recognizing his leadership in establishing the program.
"The speed at which this bill has moved through the legislative process clearly demonstrates that increasing opportunities for undergraduate students to study abroad will put our nation on better footing to succeed in the global economy and enhance international relations," said SUNY New Paltz President Roger Bowen, who assisted Gilman with the legislation. "Educational exchange is the most effective way to transform nations into people."
Although New Paltz' study abroad program is very successful and considered extremely robust for a public university, Bowen says many students have not been able to include the overseas experience in their undergraduate work because of costs.
"This legislation will open international opportunities to many deserving students who do not have the money to study abroad - many of whom are here at New Paltz and other campuses in our SUNY system," said Bowen.
The legislation will provide grants up to $5,000 to undergraduate students of "limited financial means" toward up to a year of study abroad.
"In time, the Gilman scholarships could become as important for American undergraduates as Fulbright awards are for faculty," said Bruce Sillner, SUNY New Paltz' director of International Programs.
For more information about international study programs and their benefits, visit the SUNY New Paltz Web site at http://www.newpaltz.edu. For past news releases about the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, visit SUNY New Paltz' news releases at http://www.newpaltz.edu/news.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.