WCF Announces Grants to Wisconsin Covenant Students

by Free Speech on November 2, 2009

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, WI

Class of 2011 Covenant Scholars with Significant Financial Need to Receive $1,500 for College Expenses

Madison, WI – Today the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc. announced prospective grants to the first group of students who signed the Wisconsin Covenant pledge. These 17,000 students, slated to graduate high school as the class of 2011, signed a pledge during eighth grade promising to work hard and prepare for college. Each student who completes the pledge, enrolls at least half-time in a Wisconsin college or university during 2011, and demonstrates significant financial need will receive a $1,500 grant to be used for postsecondary education expenses.

“These grants are designed to help hard-working students realize that college is possible regardless of their family’s economic situation,” said Richard D. George, chair of the Foundation’s board of directors and CEO of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation which provided the Foundation’s $40 million lead gift. “We hope that by announcing these grants now, high school juniors from families who lack the resources to help pay for higher education will have extra motivation to complete the pledge and go on to college.”

The level of financial need for each Wisconsin Covenant Scholar will be determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the standard form used to calculate eligibility for federal and state financial aid. Because the submission of this form is a requirement of the Wisconsin Covenant pledge, students and their families will not be required to complete any additional forms to qualify for this new grant. Based on the information provided, the FAFSA calculates an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)—the amount the family is expected to contribute toward the cost of college.

The EFC is calculated according to a formula set by the U.S. Department of Education and changes each year. The formula considers a family’s income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security), as well as the size of the family and the number of family members who will attend college during the year. As an example, if the parents’ income was less than $30,000 and the parents filed a 1040 EZ tax form for 2008, then the student would automatically receive a $0 EFC on the 2009-2010 FAFSA.

Although students who receive a $0 EFC qualify for a number of federal and state grants, the grant aid offered does not cover all college expenses. The gap between the cost of higher education and the financial aid offered prevents many of Wisconsin’s best and brightest students—our leaders of tomorrow—from attending college.

The Wisconsin Covenant Foundation is announcing these grants now in an effort to increase the chances that college-ready students will stay committed to completing the Wisconsin Covenant pledge and enrolling in college. Every Wisconsin Covenant Scholar (as designated by the Office of the Wisconsin Covenant once all pledge points have been verified) with an EFC of $0 will be automatically eligible for the $1,500 grant. The funds will be distributed during the fall of 2011, after the student enrolls at least half-time in a Wisconsin college or university.

For more information about the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation’s commitment to providing educational access to low-income and first-generation students, please contact Shannon Loredo at 608-240-1251.

About the Wisconsin Covenant

The Wisconsin Covenant, a promise to every eighth grade student, was developed by Governor Doyle and is managed through the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Office of the Wisconsin Covenant. Each student who fulfills the Wisconsin Covenant pledge will be recognized as a Wisconsin Covenant Scholar, receive a financial aid package based on the family’s financial need, and be guaranteed a place at a University of Wisconsin campus, a Wisconsin Technical College, or a Wisconsin private college or university affiliated with the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

About the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, Inc.

The Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, a private charitable organization, was founded in 2007 to provide support to students with financial need who fulfill the pledge of the Wisconsin Covenant. By investing in the youth of our state and helping make college more affordable to those students that might otherwise not attend, we are committed to funding Wisconsin’s future.

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