By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter
Financial hardships, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, are a significant obstacle to students continuing their program of study. Recognizing this hurdle, the Ellucian Foundation is again offering the Progress, Accomplishment, Thriving, Hope (PATH) Scholarship Program for 2023 to help higher education institutions support students experiencing economic hardship.
Eligible institutions have until May 12 to apply for the scholarship, which is awarded in a single block grant between $10,000 and $25,000, with the ability to award up to $1,500 for individual students.
Now in its fourth year, the PATH Scholarship Program has so far provided more than $1.6 million in scholarships to eligible higher education institutions, benefiting more than 1,900 students.
For 2023, all two-year public institutions, with a special invitation for minority-serving institutions (MSIs) by U.S. federal statute, are invited to apply for the program.
“We want to make sure every one of these schools in the United States knows about this and then help as many of them as possible to apply so that we can really get these resources out to students,” said Kirsten Weeks, senior director of corporate social responsibility at Ellucian.
Since the scholarship’s inception, Blue Icon Advisors, NASFAA’s consulting entity, has been heavily involved in the planning and implementation process, and has utilized its expertise to help ensure institutions can participate in the program.
“We've been involved since the first year,” said Tony Erwin, FAAC®, Blue Icon’s principal consultant. “Blue Icon’s involvement has included assistance with designing the scholarship program, the application process, coordinating and participating on the scholarship selection committee, and gathering and reporting recipient information back to the Ellucian Foundation.”
For students, access to these resources can be a much needed lifeline.
"Receiving the Ellucian PATH Scholarship means that I will be able to prioritize and focus on my education rather than worrying about how to finance it," shared a 2022 PATH Scholarship recipient from Pacific University.
PATH scholarship funds can cover both students’ direct expenses, such as tuition and fees, and indirect expenses, such as housing, technology, transportation, child care, books, and supplies.
An independent judging committee will select the institutions to receive a PATH Scholarship award. Recipient institutions in the U.S. will be notified in mid-July and those outside the U.S. in mid-September.
The application materials can be found on the Ellucian Submission Portal (stayonpath.org).
“I would encourage any school that's interested to apply and work with us if they have any questions,” Erwin said. “This is a well-funded program with a good structure in place that is meant to be flexible. Schools should be optimistic that if they apply, they have a good chance of being funded.”
Publication Date: 4/5/2023
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