Gilmer Free Press

Endowed Scholarship Funds Make Meaningful Impact

The Free Press WV

If you’re the parent of a college-bound student or a college-bound student yourself, you are more than likely feeling overwhelmed by the college application process and even more so by the costs that are adding up.  To help offset some of these expenses the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation & Regional Affiliates (PACF) offers several scholarship opportunities for area students.

“Not only are students and parents worried about tuition and fees, but they are also concerned about costs for books, housing, transportation, and much more,” said Rachel Brezler, PACF’s Regional Scholarships Officer. “We’re here to help parents and students easily navigate through the scholarship process and provide meaningful financial assistance to help pay for college.”

Brezler believes that the scholarship funds managed by the PACF are extremely helpful for students working to achieve their academic goals.  “Scholarship awards are directed straight to the college/university and are directly applied to the student’s account,” said Brezler.  “This approach minimizes administrative details for students and eases financial worries.  We’ve had several recipients comment that the scholarships they received truly helped them focus more on their studies.”

The PACF manages more than 160 endowed scholarship funds, established by forward-thinking citizens, to support students in its 11-county service area.  An endowed scholarship fund with the PACF is a permanent fund in which the principal always remains intact and invested, forever.  Annually, scholarships are awarded from a portion of the income earned on the fund’s principal.  Each scholarship fund at the Foundation has different eligibility requirements.  Many awards are restricted to students graduating from certain high schools, pursuing select fields of study, or attending specific institutions.  While most existing scholarships are limited to students who are graduating high school seniors, there are a few available for students whose undergraduate degree program is already underway, who are pursuing graduate level education, or who are “non-traditional” students. 

The average cost of college, both public and private, keeps increasing at a slow and steady pace each year.  According to a recent U.S. News and Report article, the average 2018-2019 cost for public, in-state schooling is more than $9,000; public, out-of-state is more than $21,000; and private colleges and universities is more than $35,000.

Last year, the PACF awarded 266 scholarships, totaling more than $331,000, to support area students pursuing post-secondary education.  Currently, the PACF is reviewing applications for its spring 2019 awards.

As the cost for post-secondary education continues to rise, the PACF encourages individuals concerned about the academic future of our region’s young people to consider partnering with Foundation.  Individuals can volunteer on the PACF’s Scholarship Fund Committee, donate to build a current scholarships fund, or partner with the Foundation to create a new scholarship fund.  Together we can make a meaningful difference for our community’s next generation.

Contact the PACF today at ‘info@pacfwv.com’ or call 304.428.4438 for more information.

The Free Press WV
--> Thursday, March 14, 2019
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