Western education remains within reach thanks to donors and financial aid options
Published on Monday, March 30, 2009
Western Technical College will be showing extra appreciation for their donors at this year’s annual Scholarship Reception. Tough financial times have had an impact on the overall number of scholarships and their amounts. But, many scholarship donors realize that being able to afford higher education is now even more important.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have generous donors who continue to see the value in helping our students reach their goals,” said Peggy Langreck, development manager of Western Technical College’s Foundation. “While some have backed off in their contributions, others have stepped up and made this a priority.”
One such donor is Michael Roach. In 2005, Roach established a scholarship for students enrolled in Western’s Electronics and Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Heating Service Technician (HVAC) programs, and his employer, Trane Company, matched the donation. When he and his wife, Lori, received the call inquiring about a donation this year, they made the decision to increase the amount of their scholarship.
Roach says he understands the students’ need for financial assistance. “I qualified for the GI Bill, but I realize not everyone does,” he explained. “And, I feel the education I received at Western really prepared me for my job. I want to make sure others have that opportunity.”
Roach and more than 300 other scholarship donors are invited to attend a Scholarship Reception on Tuesday, April 7. The event gives the student recipients the opportunity to meet the donor who made their scholarship possible.
Western is encouraging current and prospective students to continue to apply for scholarships and other sources of financial aid, despite perceived shortcomings.
“We don’t want our students to think that they won’t be able to afford to go to college as finances get tighter,” said Jerolyn Grandall, Western Financial Aid Manager. “We have not experienced a drop in financial aid opportunities such as grants and loans.”
According to Grandall, President Obama’s stimulus package includes an increase for federally-funded Pell Grants and the College Work Study Program. In addition, there are still many financial institutions that provide loans to two-year college students.
“We work with numerous local agencies who have not hesitated to continue assisting our students,” said Grandall. “Students should apply for financial aid for the upcoming 2009-2010 school year as soon as they can to take full advantage of all the opportunities.”
Students can go to www.fafsa.ed.gov to start the financial aid application process, or they can set up an appointment with a Western representative by calling 608.785.9579.
More information about scholarships at Western can be found at westerntc.edu/scholarships or by calling 608.785.9487.