By emmalee c. TORISK
Youngstown State University will put $1.7 million in additional scholarship funding into the pockets of about 3,000 students next academic year.
The additional funding is a result of the YSU Foundation’s new distribution plan, which was approved earlier this year. The YSU Foundation plans to allocate $6.8 million to the university, a 33 percent jump from $5.1 million in the current academic year.
“It’s real dollars,” Cynthia Anderson, YSU president, said Tuesday in a statement. “As tuition increases, as costs of education go up, this becomes more and more significant.”
Each of the 1,302 undergraduate students who receive the university’s merit-based Scholarships for Excellence will gain up to $1,500 more a year in funding. For example, the 162 current recipients of YSU’s President’s Scholarship receive $2,500 each academic year. Next academic year, they will receive $4,000 — or $6,000 more over four years of funding.
In addition, recipients of the Trustees’ Scholarship and the Red & White Scholarship will get $500 in additional annual funding, while Deans’ Scholarship recipients will receive a $1,000 boost.
The 1,500 other scholarships funded by the YSU Foundation also will increase by 4 percent.
These significant annual increases in scholarship funding help to make YSU more competitive, Anderson said, and also could make a difference in the university’s enrollment, retention and graduation rates.
“We realize that the demographics of our region in some cases make college somewhat difficult to afford, so we do everything we can to keep the costs down,” she said. “We do everything we can to provide our students with a financial-aid package to entice them to come to Youngstown State to get their education.”
Paul McFadden, president of the YSU Foundation, said he is excited about being able to help not only enrolling students, but existing students as well “for the great job they’ve done.”
“We want to say, ‘Congratulations, and here’s a little boost for your good work,’” McFadden said. “We want to reward performing students and help them stay in school ... and attract more to follow in their footsteps.”
Previously, only income from the endowment holdings of the YSU Foundation, a private nonprofit corporation that supports YSU primarily through student scholarships, was distributed. The new distribution plan permits 4 percent of a three-year rolling average of the foundation’s market value to be distributed annually to YSU.