Although the economy may be having problems and people everywhere are scrambling to make ends meet, financial aid and scholarships will remain accessible to the people who need them, education officials say.
“We still have a wide variety of scholarships that need to be filled by students,” said Ofelia Morales, associate director of CU’s Office of Financial Aid.
On Tuesday, President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package that will provide aid to several ailing areas within the national economy. The bill funds a record investment in education that will allow low-income students to continue receiving higher education with the help of student loans, federal grants and scholarships.
The aid gained from the bill is important for local college students receiving scholarships and financial aid, since the Office of Financial Aid has already begun to eliminate some programs as a result of a decrease in state funding, staff members say.
“We faced decreases tied to endowments that are directly affected by the market,” Morales said.
However, thanks to the implementation of this new stimulus package, Morales explained there is actually going to be an increase in federal funding, particularly through the Federal Pell Grant, which provides need-based grants to low-income students.
Though it may seem inevitable to face increased competition while applying for scholarships, Katy Craig, director of the Boettcher Foundation scholarship program, explained that specialized programs are seeing the same number of applicants as usual and are offering the same number of scholarship opportunities.
“We’re also continuing to give 40 full-ride scholarships to any four-year institution in the state, just as we have since the 1950s,” Craig said.
Without the assistance that they receive through financial aid and loans, students like James Marek, 21, a junior communication major, say they would not have the opportunity to attend a college.
“I’m really relieved that I can keep getting aid and loans and have the same opportunities to graduate college as everyone else,” Marek said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lindsay Gulisano at Lindsay.email@example.com.