Office of Communications Staff Website

Salt Lake College partners with U.S. Ski and Snowboarding team

March 10, 2005

The Associated Press State & Local Wire

BYLINE: By DEBBIE HUMMEL, Associated Press Writer

Westminster College, a private liberal arts college nestled at the base of Utah's Wasatch range, announced a partnership Thursday with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard teams to become their official education provider.

Members of the winter sports teams could apply to Westminster and based on their team ranking, GPA, high school and college standing and availability get one of about 10 tuition grants to attend the school, where tuition runs about $18,482 a year.

The athletes would likely take classes during the school's one-month May session, summer and fall terms so they can train and compete in the winter and spring, school spokeswoman Helen Langan said.

Westminster is planning for 10 full-time spots for athletes this year with hopes that will reach 30 scholarships within four years, Langan said.

The agreement will last through the 2009 school year.

"This partnership also will help the families of our athletes, who are looking to invest in their athletic careers and ultimately in their lives, know that they are getting a college education as well as world class Olympic training," said Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, in a statement.

"The kind of discipline needed to be an Olympic caliber athlete is incredible. I think having those kinds of people as part of our student body and interacting with the rest of our student body is bound to enrich the environment of the institution," said Westminster College president Michael Bassis.

The partnership was developed as the school was working on another program announced this year, Winter at Westminster, which opens up students from across the U.S. to Utah skiing and other outdoor recreational opportunities.

The college exchange program for the winter semester allows students to get numerous passes to area ski resorts, for about $2,500 above the $12,500 they pay in tuition and board.

The college located in Salt Lake City about 30 minutes from USSA's Park City headquarters.