Greetings! This is but a portion of the crowd gathered for the annual students/donor reception in May. The event gives scholarship benefactors a feel for how their investments are paying off.
"On a personal level, knowing that a stranger believed in me, my plans for the future, and was willing to invest in me...It inspired me, motivated me, challenged me to become all that I had set out to be.
"To this day, I could provide a list of those who contributed to my education. In fact, I could show you each 'congratulatory' letter now bound in my scrapbook...I can only hope (those donors) can look back and know they earned a good return on their investment.
"I am very much aware of the rising tuition costs today. With this in mind and as a proud UWGB alumnus, I feel there is no time like the present to give back...whether it be through finances, time, mentoring programs, or helping provide internship opportunities to current students. Total strangers once gave me a gift, and I think they would be pleased to know that it did not stop with one check. Their generosity was contagious."
Ruh, Green Bay, Class of '01, accountant, PDQ Manufacturing, Alumni Association
director, former recipient of Robert T. and Betty Rose Meyer Scholarship
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Betty Rose Meyer, center, received a standing ovation and UW-Green Bay's highest community honor, the Chancellor's Award, in May 2004. In the late 1990s, her gift to endow two scholarship funds was then the largest such gift in UW-Green Bay history. The scholarships are the John and Anne M. Rose Scholarship in honor of her late parents, and the Robert T. and Betty Rose Meyer Scholarship in honor of her late husband, Robert Meyer, who built Tape Inc. into a major local employer and national leader in industrial carton sealers. Both scholarships are designated for students with financial need who show leadership and citizenship abilities.
The named scholarship fund created by Meredith and the late Jake Rose remains UW-Green Bay's largest, spinning off interest for more than a dozen $1,000 awards each year. Scholarships created by Betty Rose Meyer and the Gallagher and Walter families aren't far behind. With scholarships a focus of the Campaign for UW-Green Bay, however, hopes are high that new "names" will join Byrne, Casperson, Cook, Crandall, Damkoehler, Daniels, Dhuey, Einstein/Gandhi, Erdmann, Gage, Gallagher, Higley, Jorgenson, Kazar, Krchma, Lederer, Meng, Meyer, Morris, Music Faculty, NEW Engineering, Prevetti, Richardson, Rose, Rose, Sandmire, Scherf, University League, Sell, Stein, Trampe, University Academic Excellence, UW-Green Bay Memorial, Walter, Weidner, Wyngaard and (whew!) Ziemer. For details, visit the Web at www.uwgb.edu/advancement/gift_scholarships.html.
STEP 1. Decide between an annual scholarship — each year contribute a set amount to be distributed immediately — or an endowed scholarship. An endowment typically pays out approximately 5 percent annually, providing a permanent revenue stream for scholarship awards.
STEP 2. Work with advisers in the Office of University Advancement to establish an award schedule, and selection criteria. (Primary criteria might include G.P.A., financial need, choice of a particular major, high school or college achievements, leadership potential, and so on.)
STEP 3. Choose a formal name for the scholarship. It is popular to establish scholarships as a tribute or a memorial to a loved one.
(Optional STEP 4.) Add to your original gift (some endowment donors do so annually) to build the principal.
(Optional STEP 5.) Meet with scholarship recipients at an annual reception hosted by the University.
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How large a gift?
A PERMANENT endowed scholarship can be established at UW-Green
It's called "sticker shock" and it is no less jarring when it applies to the cost of college as to that new SUV in the driveway.
Don't fret. Take the advice of Ron Ronnenberg. He's been through it with his son, who not only went to college, but graduate school.
"Don't panic," Ronnenberg says. "Instead of looking at estimated total costs in a college catalog, identify the actual cost each semester. Consider the direct costs of a college education — tuition, books and, for some students, room and board — and the indirect costs, which are a student's day-to-day living expenses and more difficult to calculate.
" Every entering freshman is entitled to a $2,625 Stafford Loan — a federally sponsored and regulated program with reasonable interest rates. There are grants and work-study options, and every college student should be working a minimum of 10 to 12 hours per week. Suddenly that figure is manageable, Ronnenberg says.
Of course, as UW-Green Bay's great oracle of all things financial aid for nearly 30 years, Ronnenberg has inside information...and a practical outlook.
"The cost of a Chevy goes up every year, why not the cost of an education?" Ronnenberg asks. "Some people spend more time choosing their next car than they do researching their children's college choice
" In the end, he counsels, value will be determined by your child's success. Be systematic, visit more than one campus, and focus on identifying the right fit and best place for his or her success.
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1. DON'T PANIC. Parents generally over-estimate tuition costs, based in part on media hype over a handful of elite, $50,000/year private institutions. (UW System tuition is closer to $5,000/year.)
2. PRIORITIZE. Limit expenses while your children are young. Some middle-income families struggle, some don't. Teen spending on cars, cell phones, etc., can be a factor.
3. GET A JUMPSTART. Look into opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school. Foreign language courses and advanced subjects are possibilities.
4. EXPECT HIGH PERFORMANCE. Working students still have time for studying and outside interests, and jobs are just down the hall. UWGB employs about 1,000 student workers.
5. RESEARCH. Seek scholarships via civic organizations, guidance counselors and the college. Ronnenberg had his son prepare, in advance, three essays often requested of applicants: Your most influential person? What accomplishment are you most proud of? Explain a difficult situation that you've been in. "A good, clean, neat, sometimes quick-witted essay is required for most scholarships."
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"How much will I end up re-paying in student loans?"
It is a common question without a simple answer.
Statistics can be tricky. Some factor in all students when calculating "average loan amount," even the many with no loans at all, thus understating the actual experience for most borrowers. But to look only at those with loans, and use the word "average," implies that the typical graduate will encounter that level of debt, which isn't the case, either.
There is also the reality that even relatively well-off families will sometimes opt for low-interest loans, not out of immediate need but to avoid liquidating high-yield, long-term investments.
Regardless of the basis for the calculation, however, one trend is undeniable: As tuition rises, student debt load is going up. The National Student Loan Program (NSLP) set a record for growth in fiscal year 2005, guaranteeing $3.1 billion in Stafford and PLUS loans — the most common federally administered higher education loan. NSLPs volume has tripled over the last three years. College Board's Trends in Student Aid listed the total amount of student loans in 2004 as $61.3 billion.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average amount owed upon graduation is $10,000 and rising — and that figure is in the ballpark for students who attend UW-Green Bay.
"I would have to say we're right in that range," says Sue Steeno, a UW-Green Bay financial aid adviser, who says students report about $12,000 in loans when they graduate." We try to advise students and parents to take out only as much loan as is needed, but with the cost of education on the rise, some families are left with few options."
It is believed about 45 percent of UW-Green Bay students carry education-related loans.