UI awards Forevermore Scholarship to first-year students for the first time

The University of Iowa Center for Advancement has launched the Fellowship Scholarship this year, matching freshmen to donors from the same region.

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UI awards Forevermore Scholarship to first-year students for the first time

Calvin Hall is seen on Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

Calvin Hall is seen on Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

Wyatt Dlouhy

Calvin Hall is seen on Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

Wyatt Dlouhy

Wyatt Dlouhy

Calvin Hall is seen on Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

Kelsey Harrell, News Reporter

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The University of Iowa has created a new scholarship aimed at fulfilling students’ unmet financial need in an effort to remove barriers to accessing higher education as tuition rises. 

The UI Center for Advancement this academic year started the Forevermore Scholarship, an annually renewable, privately funded $1,000 scholarship for first-year students with financial need. 

Fifty-seven incoming first-year students were selected to be the first recipients of the scholarship, said Lynette Marshall, president and CEO of the UI Center for Advancement. More than 2,200 individuals have donated to the scholarship fund. 

Donors can give any amount they desire to the fund, Marshall said. If a donor gives $1,000 or more, they are matched with the student who receives the money, allowing the donor to connect with and get to know the scholarship recipient, she added. 

“Financial aid and support for students is one of the top things we can do to help students not have to worry about the cost of [their] education, but to really focus on the experiences and the academic program of study that they’re enrolled in here,” Marshall said.

Marshall said the scholarship aims to ensure students with unmatched financial aid have that gap filled so they can attend the UI. 

The creation of this scholarship fund comes after the state Board of Regents has consistently hiked tuition rates. UI President Bruce Harreld has called for increased financial-aid funding to offset the need for students to take out loans. 

Student scholarship recipients are identified by geographic region to represent all parts of the state of Iowa and other areas with alum groups. Donors are then connected with a student from their area, said Brent Gage, associate vice president of Enrollment Management.

Gage said he sees the scholarship as a way for donors to see their gift’s immediate effect on recipients. 

“I think for a lot of folks that want to reach out and donate to their university … not everyone can give $1 million, but people can give $100 or $500,” Gage said. 

Before orientation, scholarship recipient Asha Loutsch said she didn’t know she applied for the scholarship. Loutsch was informed that she had been awarded the scholarship after arriving to campus.

“I was going to have to take out loans before I got the scholarship,” Loutsch said. “The scholarship helped me so I didn’t have to take out a single loan this semester, and I’m really thankful for that.”

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After looking at the online student-scholarship portal, scholarship recipient Alyssa Yokimishyn filled out the application and found out she was a recipient as well. Yokimishyn said she realized when she reached campus that there are educational expenses in addition to tuition.

“Being here at Iowa, I’ve realized the real impact of what it’s actually done, because it’s not only for tuition,” Yokimishyn said. 

While at the UI, alum Shawna McDonald, an Illinois resident and scholarship donor, said she received scholarships, allowing her parents to make up the cost of out-of-state tuition. 

After her college experience, McDonald said, she wanted to help a current student afford their education. 

McDonald works for Google, and after she donated to the scholarship fund, she said Google matched her donation by giving $1,000 to the UI. 

“When I saw this opportunity to be able to give back and to also be able to see actually who the scholarship was going to and learn how the people plan to use it, I was really inspired to contribute,” McDonald said. 

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