Students flourish thanks to Bridge Scholarship

For many first-generation students, the thought of going “away” to college can be daunting.

Stepping out of your comfort zone isn’t easy, just ask Heather Herrera. She’s is one of many students who take advantage of the University of Northern Iowa’s (UNI) partnership with Palo Alto College. First started in 2000, the Alamo Colleges – UNI Bridge Scholarship Program has successfully graduated 125 students who transferred from PAC. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition, room and board, and books.

Mike Perez also felt he had to leave the nest when he transferred to UNI. Now seniors, both Herrea and Perez credit their success at UNI to their experience at Palo Alto. The community college culture and learned skills helped them transition to a larger campus with rigorous academics.

Active participation in clubs and organizations helped both students improve leadership skills and enriched their campus experience. Both students hope to continue their education to achieve their dreams in media and teaching.

To learn more about the UNI program, contact Charley Garcia in the Center for Academic Transitions at

Read more about this story at PAC News.
Read about Heather Herrera’s experience at UNI.
Read about Mike Perez’s experience at UNI.

Photo Courtesy: Palo Alto College/University of Northern Iowa