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When the tornado struck Union University on February 5, some students had every right to worry that they could lose their chance at a college education along with their dormitories and possessions.
With grant dollars from Lumina Foundation for Education, Scholarship America has set up a $270,000 emergency financial aid fund for students with financial need to help them stay in school and continue toward their goal of completing their college education. The program is available to students who currently meet eligibility requirements for federal Pell Grants (for more information on Pell Grant eligibility see http://www.ed.gov/programs/fpg/index.html). Students and families seeking assistance may contact Union University’s Office of Student Financial Planning.
“We’ve seen it in Louisiana and Mississippi after the hurricanes – kids and families already struggling to pay for a college education risk dropping out altogether when a natural disaster strikes their school or their family,” said Dr. Clifford Stanley, president and CEO of Scholarship America, the country’s largest scholarship organization. “Thankfully, we’ve been able to work with foundations that have the means and foresight to help students keep their dreams alive.”
"The last month has been a trying time for our university, but we are blessed by help we’ve received from so many around the country," Union University President David S. Dockery said. "The aid from Scholarship America and Lumina will help hundreds of our students continue their education, and for that we are deeply grateful."
Scholarship America has managed scholarship and financial aid funds to help students maintain their post-secondary educations in the wake of major disasters, including the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
“The tornados that struck Union University once again highlight the need for an ongoing financial aid fund to assist students in the wake of disasters,” Stanley said. “Disaster Relief Financial Aid is a nationwide concern. Scholarship America is working with partners like USA Funds and Lumina to develop an ongoing fund to prepare for future disasters.”
Janine Fugate, Scholarship America
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About Scholarship America
Scholarship America is a national education service organization that mobilizes support for students getting into and graduating from college. We have three core programs that help us achieve our mission: Dollars for Scholars, Scholarship Management Services, and Dreamkeepers. Scholarship America has distributed more than $2.5 billion in scholarship assistance to more than 1.7 million students since 1958.
Scholarship America’s Dream Award is a renewable scholarship fund targeted toward completion. These annually-increasing awards will be given to students selected from across the nation who are entering their second year of education beyond high school.
Scholarship America's blog, Success By Degrees, covers items of interest to parents, volunteers, educators and anyone interested in the big issues surrounding education, financial aid and postsecondary success. You'll find policy announcements, news releases and more, every week!
Nearly 1/4 of the U.S. population owes a collective $700 billion in student loan debt. We are committed to helping more students graduate from college with less debt. A gift of just $1 a day -- for a week, for a month, or for a year -- can help ensure that students are able to achieve their goals.