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Four Students Receive Full-Ride Scholarships

Published Friday, February 17, 2023

2023 Full-Ride Scholarship Recipients
2023 Full-Ride Scholarship Recipients

Four high-achieving high school seniors have been awarded full-ride scholarships to Southwest Minnesota State University as part of the President’s Regional Scholars Award program.

Tyler Hanson from Benson High School, Teresa Larsen from Cedar Mountain High School, Ella Nagorske from Granada-Huntley-East Chain (GHEC) High School, and Olivia Houseman from Marshall High School will receive full-ride scholarships starting in the fall semester 2023. The scholarships are for four years. The students were selected through a combination of their outstanding academic achievements and interviews with SMSU faculty, staff and President Kumara Jayasuriya. Launched in 2019, the Regional Scholars program features six scholarship levels that range from $4,000 to a full ride over four years.

The 2023 Full-Ride Recipients:

  • Tyler Hanson is the son of Kurt and Molly Hanson from Benson, Minn. He chose SMSU because of how kind and supportive the professors and staff are. He plans to major in computer science when he comes to SMSU in the fall. The full-ride “means peace of mind for my future finances, and a feeling of ease regarding my college education,” he said. Tyler hopes to have a career in cybersecurity after college.
  • Teresa Larsen is the daughter of Pat and Mary Kate Larsen from Morgan, Minn. She will major in Early Childhood Education when she begins her academic career at SMSU in the fall. “I am beyond grateful for this life-changing scholarship. It is hard to comprehend just how huge this scholarship is. My parents have already helped put five kids through college, and it is huge to relieve them from that burden,” said Teresa. “I am so thankful to be able to start on my feet right out of college and not be burdened by the weight of repaying student loans. I am so thankful SMSU gave this scholarship opportunity to me and the other competitors.”
  • Ella Nagorske is the daughter of Jessica and Jarred Clow from Granada, Minn. The GHEC High School senior plans on majoring in exercise science at SMSU. “I chose SMSU because I heard amazing things about their Exercise Science program, but also because of the welcoming and fun atmosphere of the school. Every time I'm on campus it is such a great experience,” said Ella. “I was extremely honored to even be considered for the scholarship. Winning it really shows me that all my hard work has paid off and I'm going to a school that is supportive and appreciative of my being there. I truly cannot thank SMSU enough for this opportunity!”
  • Olivia Houseman is the daughter of Jack and Amme Houseman of Marshall, Minn. Olivia plans to major in Theatre Arts at SMSU in the fall and is grateful to receive the scholarship. “For me, this scholarship is an opportunity to expand my knowledge, skills and experience without the stress of financial obligations,” she said. “I selected SMSU mainly for its campus size, proximity to home, and close relationships between students and staff.” She hopes to work in technology, design, and management in theatre after graduating from SMSU. 

“The purpose of our President’s Regional Scholars Award program is to keep the best and brightest students in southwest Minnesota, attending SMSU,” said SMSU President Kumara Jayasuriya. “We look forward to having these four outstanding students join the Mustang Family in the fall.”

For further information about the scholarship program, contact the Office of Admission at: 507-537-6286;



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