As a means of addressing the ongoing challenge of students being stretched by increasing educational costs and the need to “make ends meet,” Clayton State University, where dreams are made real, has announced a new scholarship initiative, “Dream Makers.”
Dream Makers got its start when a working group of University officials representing ClaytonState’s Complete College Georgia Initiative, the Office of Financial Aid, the Clayton State Honors program, and the Office of Development came together in the spring of 2013 to identify specific areas of student financial need and to explore possible funding solutions for those needs.
Dream Makers is a multi-faceted approach to helping those students who are either high achievers, are close to completing their degree, or both. Three separate initiatives will be a part of the Dream Makers program; Dream Makers Scholarships, the Loch Leaders Investment Fund, and Laker Completion Grants.
Dream Maker Scholarships will carry the name of the donors and will have broad selection criteria established by the individual donor. Each scholarship will be given to one student, with the goal of establishing 25 scholarships of $1,000.
The Loch Leaders Investment Fund will recognize high achievers – those full-time students with a GPA of 3.5 or greater who demonstrate unmet need. A select group of students will be designated as Loch Leaders each year with priority given in order to: continuing students; new freshmen; returning students; and transfer students. Donors can be a part of the Investment Fund with a gift of $500.
Many ClaytonState students are the first in their family to attend college. Completing their coursework and receiving their degree is a significant accomplishment that can be postponed due to family situations, work demands, and, very often, financial challenges. The Laker Completion Grants will impact those students who are near degree completion and demonstrate unmet need. Priority will be given to those closest to degree completion with unmet need and a GPA of at least 2.5. Gifts of all sizes are welcome for the Completion Grants.
How great is the need for Dream Makers? Vice President for External Relations Kate Troelstra points out that last year 78 percent of Clayton State students demonstrated need for financial aid with 6,000 Clayton State students actually receiving some sort of aid, be it in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, or other types of financial aid. However, 69 percent of those 6,000 students still have unmet need.
On top of this number are the dollars that students take out in student loans or earn by having more than one job in order to make their dream of becoming a college graduate a reality.
“The Financial Aid Office is very excited about the new scholarship opportunities for 2014-2015!” exclaims Clayton State Director of Financial Aid Pat Barton. “I see students every single semester in my office who are very close to graduation and who have exhausted all of the federal and state aid that my office can provide. It is very disheartening to see them work so hard to get to that point and not be able to complete.
“Dream Makers is one of the most significant initiatives that I have been involved with as Director of Financial Aid at ClaytonStateUniversity. To every donor who will make this possible, I would like to thank you on behalf of the many students who will benefit from your generosity.”
If you are interested in becoming a Dream Maker, go to https://giving.clayton.edu/dreammakersinitiative
or contact Troelstra at (678) 466-4470.