The opportunity to apply for a scholarship through Keene State College only comes around once a year.
As the fall 2011 semester winds down, and the spring 2012 semester is on the horizon, KSC students must watch their e-mail closely. In late February an e-mail is sent out inviting students to apply for one of KSC’s endowed scholarships.
Senior Kristin Robidoux said the unappealing subject title for the email often gets expedited to junk mail. “They don’t catch anyone’s eyes,” Robidoux said. KSC students often receive various e-mails from outside sources as an invitation to enroll for scholarships, she added. “I think it’s a junk e-mail.”
[singlepic id=690 w=320 h=240 float=right]
Robidoux said she hasn’t heard of anyone who received a scholarship from Keene State College. “Most of the people I know are receiving scholarship money from outside sources.”
Although the e-mail may fall through the radar of some students, Director of Development, Ken Goebel, said students have the chance to obtain one of approximately 320 endowed scholarships.
The endowed fund scholarship pool, which is looked at as the first of three scholarship pools, is created by individuals, families, or organizations that want to have a scholarship exist in their name for eternity. “Endowed funds are invested and the earnings of the investment are used to provide the scholarship,” Goebel said.
Endowed funds are held by one of two organizations, either the endowment within the University System of New Hampshire or Keene Endowment Association (KEA), both of which are separate organizations. KEA has endowed funds which are specifically used for scholarships at KSC.
In order to have a scholarship to create an endowed fund, there is a $20,000 minimum gift. “From the investment we give some to students and then put some back into the principle so the principle grows,” Goebel said. “Growing the principle is a big part of investment management.”
Being that $20,000 is a significant donation, Goebel said enough individuals make small donations which are added together to establish an endowed fund. “Even though it’s small it still impacts KSC students,” Goebel said.
Goebel stated that a $20,000 endowed scholarship would create $800 in scholarship money every year. “Right now many KSC funds are using 4 percent,” Goebel said.
Goebel said a $100,000 dollar endowed scholarship was recently donated from a donor who has emotional ties to the nursing field. “It will spin off $4,000 a year for scholarships.”
The second opportunity for students to receive scholarship money falls into an award pool. This pool is primarily in place for seniors and awards are given out during the Spring Honors Convocation prior to the Commencement Ceremony. According to the Keene State College website, “The Convocation recognizes excellence in student scholarship and leadership, the recipients of undergraduate Academic Honors, students graduating with a GPA of 3.5-4.0.”
Goebel said these scholarships work back through a student’s fee bill, working to pay down remaining debt. “We gave out about 20 honors awards,” Goebel said in regards to last year’s Convocation.
The third pool in which students can obtain scholarship money comes from outside sources. This pool holds private trust funds that go directly to the students. These funds are not endowed, meaning that the entire donation goes toward the students.
Travelli-Ayling Scholarship is a privately held trust who donates a gift of $50,000 – 60,000 annually for over 20 years, Goebel said. “[Travalli-Alying] recognizes the value of supporting students at KSC for the types of education that we have,” Goebel said.
“There are a number of other privately held trusts who provide scholarship funds to KSC,” Goebel said.
Scholarships are awarded on a need or merit base. As stated on the Student Financial Services website, determining a student’s financial aid package is determined on the basis of three criteria: KSC’s cost of attendance, which includes “tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies, as well as personal and transportation expenses;” a student’s expected family contribution (EFC), which is “the amount the federal government believes you and your family are able to contribute toward your college costs, based on the financial information you provided on your FAFSA;” and lastly, a student’s FASFA filing date.
“A Keene State student is eligible for a need-based scholarship once their financial aid package says they have need,” Goebel said.
Merit-based scholarships are based on academic performance. According to the Student Financial Services website, “Merit awards are determined from a review of the students’ application for admission to Keene State.” Parts of the application such as a student’s SAT scores and GPA will be reviewed.
Goebel said there was a total of 320 endowed scholarships given last year, totaling $260,000. Along with approximately 20 award-based scholarships at Convocation and 50 private trust scholarships, “we are pushing 400” scholarships.
Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid for Student Financial Services, Joy Birdsey said along with the e-mail sent to students in late February inviting students to apply, Financial Services has published “an ad in The Equinox, created posters, and table tents for the dining commons.”
After students receive the e-mail in February, the application process for applying for a scholarship is held open until the first Friday in April. Students can find the link to the application through MyKSC, Birdsey said. These awards would then be applied for the next academic year, she added.
“I think the primary reason that people make gifts specifically to scholarship is that they know their impact is going to be with an individual student,” Goebel said.
Jordan Cuddemi can be contacted at email@example.com.