Campus: Sonoma State University -- August 22, 2003

Help Students Cope With Tuition Fee Hike This Year With Easy Donation to SSU Scholarship Program

An 87-year old Santa Rosa woman recently donated $5,000 to provide five $1,000 scholarships for Sonoma State University students struggling with the financial strain of the recent 30% tuition fee hike.

Others can do the same to help, says scholarship coordinator Laurie Ogg. Ogg has seen funds for the university scholarship drop from $246,000 to $157,000 due to the economic downturn. She has stacks of applications from 3.0 students who are deserving of scholarships, but there is not enough money to award them.

Donations from $1,000 on up can be put in a special program so students can still tap the funds this year, says Ogg. Because so many students work part-time, a scholarship can afford students more time and energy to dedicate to their studies while attending SSU, she says.

Scholarships also provide the time commitment necessary for a student to become more involved in the numerous community service programs or the study abroad program that the University has to offer, she says.

The Sonoma State University Scholarship Program is a direct method of providing monetary assistance to
students as well as recognizing academic excellence .The university¹s merit based scholarship program provides awards to over 200 students each year and has scholarships for every major at SSU.

Donors may establish selection criteria such as place of residence, community service, career interests, financial need, etc.

A memorial scholarship is also an excellent way to honor the memory of a family member. Awards can be renewed annually or an endowment fund may be established to provide funding in perpetuity.

If you are interested in finding out more about the value of a scholarship or making a contribution to an existing scholarship award, Contact Lance Plaza, Director of Development for Academic Programs and Planned Giving in the Sonoma State University Development Office at (707) 664-4151.

NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS:

Below are quotes from scholarship recipients. You can see what the funds mean to them.

"The support given me by the Ethel Polhemus Scholarship has made the difficult tasks of working full time, going to school and raising a child that much easier," wrote a single parent pursuing a Special Education
Teaching Credential at Sonoma State University.

A biology major with a Pre-Medicine concentration wrote to the donor responsible for his scholarship: In my eyes, education is a privilege and that is why I strive to be the best. With your contribution you are adding to the privilege as well as my future successSas a dentist. P.S. from my DadS "I thank you humbly, from the bottom of my heart because if it wasn¹t for people like you, I wouldn't be able to send my son to college"

"My family's financial situation has been greatly stressedSand it looked as if I may not be able to continue my education at SSU. However, with the assistance I've received from the Jacqueline Strain Scholarship, I will be able to continue my studies at Sonoma State University without financial worries and pressures." Sophomore Hutchins major from Napa.


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