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BISMARCK, N.D. — A Williston State College program that offers free tuition and fees to high school graduates in the North Dakota oil patch has pushed enrollments at the school to record highs, and the small two-year school is extending the effort thanks to a new infusion of cash.
The college began the Williams County Graduate Scholarship program two years ago to increase the number of professionals such as nurses and accountants in the booming oil patch. It was funded mainly by $1 million from the Alva J. Field Memorial Trust and $500,000 from the state.
The trust named for a man who was a teacher and community leader in Williston in the early 1900s is committing another $800,000 to the program, and another $400,000 is coming through the North Dakota Higher Education Challenge Fund. The Legislature created the matching grant fund in 2013 to spur philanthropic giving to higher education.