Dec. 15, 2004

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Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

KU, Topeka create loan program to recruit graduates to capital city

LAWRENCE -- University of Kansas Chancellor Robert E. Hemenway and Topeka Mayor James A. McClinton signed an agreement today to create the Advantage Topeka Loan Program. The program will provide up to $5,000 in loans per student and establishes a loan forgiveness program for certain students from Topeka who return to work in the city after graduation.


The loans will be matched dollar-for-dollar by other types of financial assistance, including scholarships, grants and other loans, from the Kansas University Endowment Association.

The agreement was signed by Hemenway, McClinton and Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment Association president, at a ceremony at the headquarters of Capitol Federal Savings in Topeka.

“ This is a win-win situation for both KU and Topeka,” Hemenway said. “KU students receive financial aid to pay for a world-class education, and Topeka receives skilled graduates to provide needed expertise in high-demand occupations.

“ I am pleased that when Topeka needed to recruit graduates to its workforce, they turned to KU for help.”
McClinton said Topeka’s economic future is dependent on bringing skilled workers to several areas of need in the city.

“ The Advantage Topeka Program will help us in terms of economic development and improving our quality of life,” he said. “The University of Kansas is providing invaluable help to our city.”

To be eligible, students must be enrolled in at least six hours of classes and be making satisfactory academic progress toward degrees in disciplines deemed by Topeka as “occupational areas of high demand.” Initially, the areas of high demand are in construction, transportation, installation, maintenance, repair, computers, engineering, architecture and health care.

In addition, eligible students must be residents of Topeka and graduates of a Shawnee County high school. The city administrator or city manager will determine who meets the requirements of the program. More than 1,200 students from Shawnee County attended KU during the fall 2004 semester.

Qualified students are eligible for up to $2,500 in loans per academic year, and $5,000 maximum from the program. Once students graduate, they will have a year to find employment in Topeka, either in the public or private sector. If they find employment in one of the designated areas of need, Topeka will forgive one year of loans for each year the graduate remains employed.

Hemenway said Capitol Federal was a perfect example of a company that employs numerous workers in one of the areas of need: computers. The company has more than 40 information/technology employees working at its headquarters.

Also attending the signing ceremony were John B. Dicus, president and chief executive officer of Capitol Federal Savings; his father, John C. “Jack” Dicus, chairman of Capitol Federal Savings; and Clark Cropp, KU Endowment Association senior vice president of administration.

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