Each year, Penn State Altoona's Office of Development and Alumni Relations sponsors a dinner for philanthropists who have created awards and scholarships and the students who benefit from them. All students express their gratitude through correspondence with the benefactors, but the dinner provides the first opportunity for many of them to interact on a personal level. The formal program includes remarks by Chancellor Bechtel-Wherry, scholarship recipients, and benefactors. This very special event is informative, inspiring, and moving.
For many students during these challenging economic times, the financial support offered by scholarships represents the difference between remaining enrolled and suspending pursuit of a college education.
Over 85 percent of all applicants to Penn State Altoona require some form of financial aid to enroll. During the 2008-09 academic year, the college's Office of Financial Aid awarded scholarships totaling over $430,000 to 331 students—approximately eight percent of the student population.
Nearly 3,400 of the college's 4,000 students received federal loan aid, incurring more than $21 million in debt. Even with federal loan aid, some students were not able to cover the costs of their education and incurred another $7 million in private loan debt.
These statistics illustrate the urgent need for scholarship support and the tremendous impact that benefactors can have on a student's ability to manage the financial obligations of a college education.
For information on how to create a scholarship or contribute to an existing scholarship, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 800-874-8055 or 814-949-5104. Your philanthropic support has the power to change lives.