Community Forum : Ask a Question
Welcome Guest   
 Subject : Scholarships.. 09/24/2018 03:53:50 PM 
Linda Bailey
Posts: 1
I am interested in other institutions who give scholarships or other financial aid to their members. We at the Veritas Society at Bellarmine University are researching how others handle this process. Specifically, I'm interested in:
• What is the basis for awarding a scholarship? Financial need or something else?

• If basis is financial, what is the benchmark used for awarding? Are financial papers required from recipient or is it honor system?

• How much ($) is awarded per person? What percent of overall membership fee or fee structure?

• Who decides? Committee? Authorized person? What happens if there are more applications than money?

• Can a person be a recipient more than once? What are restrictions?

• How much money is put aside each semester for scholarships?
 Subject : Re:Scholarships.. 09/25/2018 04:48:06 PM 
Ann Simanis
Posts: 19
Hi Linda,

The LLI at SUNY New Paltz was considering a membership scholarship a couple of years ago. Perhaps they or others will weigh in on what was decided.

Here at Road Scholar, we base Scholarships on means testing and a personal statement in a written application. We revised our scholarship means testing a couple of years ago and settled on a sliding scholarship award with a suggested maximum household income of 80% of the median income per state. Previously we had used the US Federal poverty guidelines. At that time, the average individual income for Road Scholar scholarships recipients was $14,373 - most of our scholarship recipients lived off of Social Security and/or disability and received additional assistance such as subsidized housing and food stamps. After reviewing the HUD Guidelines which defines "Low Income" at 80% of the median income and "Very Low Income" as 50% of the median income by State, we decided on a sliding scale. So, in general, someone making less than 50% of the median income for the State will qualify for a full $900 Road Scholar award and someone making between 50% and 80% will receive between $200 and $900 towards a program costing no more than $1,400.

Another financial guideline to consider is the MIT Living Wage calculator estimates the cost of living in your community or region.

Lastly, you might consider asking if the applicant makes under the minimum to file taxes; or qualifies for subsidized housing or food stamps. I.e. If the applicant qualifies for subsidized housing and/or food stamps, you could simply consider that process as your means testing.

As far as documentation, we ask for a copy of an applicant’s most recent tax return, if they file and their most recent Social Security Statement, if they do not file.

In addition to the financial means testing, we ask applicants to submit a personal statement of 250-500 to describe any extraordinary personal, financial, medical or other circumstances or expenses that should be considered when calculating “need.” So an applicant who makes above the suggested median income maximum for his/her state but lost everything in a hurricane could qualify for a scholarship.
We accept applications on a rolling basis and make awards until our annual budget is depleted. We convene a small committee at regular intervals to review applications and allow recipients to apply once every two years. We also ask them to assist us with outreach and submit a thank you note that we can share with our donors who give to support the Financial Assistance program.

I hope this helps with some of your questions!

Ann Simanis
Road Scholar
 Subject : Re:Scholarships.. 09/25/2018 07:31:34 PM 
Heather Jasmin
Posts: 4
Hi Linda,
At the Cheshire Academy for Lifelong Learning, we offer scholarships which cover our semester registration fee ($85) but not our annual membership fee ($45). We have never had more than six applications in a semester, and usually only have a couple. We use the honor system, and just ask that the person give us a reason for our recordkeeping. A few examples from this semester include a disabled veteran, a person who lost tenants in his income property due to the recent closing of a local college, and a woman who would like to bring her elderly aunt with her but can't afford both registrations. A person can be funded more than once, but we warn them that if we start seeing an increased demand for scholarships we will need to deny them. We self-fund our scholarships, but also have donations from our members that would cover the cost if it becomes necessary. Currently, I have been making the decisions myself as the Program Coordinator. Please let me know if you have any other questions! - Heather ([email protected])
 Subject : Re:Scholarships.. 09/25/2018 07:40:17 PM 
Posts: 1
Hi Linda,

My LLI (member-funded program at a state university) awards financial assistance to certain members in that we waive the membership fee for them when they register ($45 for a year). However, even with a waived fee members still must pay for classes ($5 per session, varying amounts for trips, dinners, etc.)

We state in some of our promotional materials that assistance is available, and if a member asks for the assistance I (the director) give it to them. I do not require paperwork--it's enough for me to believe them if they say they need it, as this is a high-poverty area, particularly among the senior population. We have a membership base of about 550 people and only two or three per year ask for the waiver. Because we are self-funded and don't get operations revenue from the university, we rely on the revenue from membership and class fees, so if lots of people suddenly sought financial assistance, I would ask the board to form a sub-committee to come up with a vetting process, and I would suggest we use donations to cover the costs. Usually the people who request the waiver do so several times, as their financial situations rarely improve. I hope this is helpful!
 Subject : Re:Scholarships.. 09/25/2018 07:53:47 PM 
Karl Hakkarainen
Posts: 2
At Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE), we ask scholarship applicants to complete a brief form with their reasons for wanting to join WISE. Our president and treasurer review the application. If approved, the member receives a $200 discount on a full-year membership; the member must pay $50.
We've had no more than a half dozen, out of 400+, apply for scholarships. One or two might apply for scholarships in successive years.
 Subject : Re:Scholarships.. 09/26/2018 02:52:54 PM 
Nancy Kennedy
Posts: 1
Here at [email protected] University, we offer scholarships to anyone who needs them. Members just have to request one through me (the program director). We do not ask for any kind of proof because we don't feel like we have been taken advantage of in the past--those who ask for a scholarship need one. We ask scholarship recipients to pay the $50 annual membership fee, and allow that to be paid in installments if needed. Our courses meet once a week for 8-9 weeks and cost $55 each. Scholarship recipients are awarded a 9-course package to be used over the three terms of the academic year. That way they don't have to come back and ask each term. So members will make a partial payment toward their course package. We are glad to accept this but do not require it. We had 2,335 in 2017-18, an about 15 members were on scholarship.
 Subject : Re:Scholarships.. 09/26/2018 05:19:27 PM 
Claire McGurn
Posts: 73
To Linda from Susan Hoskins
Executive Director
Princeton Senior Resource Center
The Evergreen Forum

At Princeton Senior Resource Center's Evergreen Forum program, we have no membership fee but do offer scholarships for classes. The standard we use is whether a person qualifies for PAAD, a NJ Pharmaceutical Benefit Program that is the standard for several other benefits. We only ask "do you qualify for..." so a person doesn't have to be getting the benefit. I make the decisions as Executive Director, and I usually ask if they can pay half. Sometimes lower. A person can get assistance for repeated semesters.
 Subject : Re:Scholarships.. 09/26/2018 06:53:08 PM 
Claire McGurn
Posts: 73
To LInda from Phyllis Pressman Cohen
Lifelong Learners: An Independent Collaborative

At LLAIC we award scholarships where the need arises. No verification is needed, honor system is fine. If someone really wants to attend our courses but cannot afford them and humbles themselves to tell us we figure that's enough.

No money changes hands, we simply register them on the back end and mark their account paid.

We are entering our 9th semester and have only had two people suggest that costs are a hardship. One was because he didn't drive and just getting to classes cost him about $80 in roundtrip UBER fees, so we absorbed his tuition. We don't put a limit on it, we are not here to make money and as long as we have class seats available we'd just as soon fill them.

As a 350+ member group we are small enough that we don't need a formal process. The decision is made either by me or one of our VPs. So far the two have required aid have received it. But then again our fee structure is very low.

Hope this helps.
 Subject : Re:Scholarships.. 09/26/2018 06:54:52 PM 
Claire McGurn
Posts: 73
To lInda from Anne P Smith
Institute for Lifelong Learning Bucknell University

We have no restrictions, we base it on a conversation which if it identifies the participant as someone for whom our fees would mean they couldn't participate they get a scholarship. No vetting, no benchmark, just a conversation. Of 450 members about 8 are on scholarship, so not abused at all.
 Subject : Re:Scholarships.. 10/02/2018 06:17:01 PM 
Claire McGurn
Posts: 73
From Marie Rossi
Peconic Landing

Good morning
I have been traveling and saw your note re scholarships.
The LLAssociation at Peconic Landing gives one $2,000 scholarship to a mature student at Suffolk County Community College, three $500 scholarships to graduating seniors of Greenport High School and $500 for Pre-K education at Greenport Elementary School.
Selections are made by the individual institutions

Under the International Dictionary Project, we have a well received distribution of dictionaries to all third grade students on the North Fork of Long Island.
Funds are raised through member registration fees.
Marie Rossi
# of Topics per Page