Monday, April 6, 2009

Emory Advantage Support Aids Students

If it were not for Emory Advantage, Willow Wood may not have been able to attend college at all, much less realize her dream of studying at Oxford College of Emory University.

Wood knew about Oxford from the stories of her aunt and uncle, who attended Oxford. A junior now at Emory College studying environmental science, Wood says the Emory Advantage program was the only way her dream could have come true. The oldest of four girls, she knew it would be tough to afford college — her mom is a carriage driver and her dad, who grapples with a disability, has worked in the restaurant industry.

“I grew up on stories of Oxford, and I knew it was a special place. I was able to go there, too, because of Emory Advantage,” says Wood. “I can take a full class load without working full-time as well. And I don’t have to worry about graduating with a huge debt.”

Emory Advantage, the university’s financial aid program benefiting low- and middle-income students, was established in 2007 and offers two kinds of aid: the Loan Replacement Grant to replace need-based loans for dependent undergraduate students whose families’ annual total assessed incomes are $50,000 or less, and the Loan Cap Program which caps cumulative need-based debt at $15,000 for dependent undergraduate students whose families’ annual total assessed incomes are between $50,000 and $100,000.

Undergraduate students at Oxford College, Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Goizueta Business School, and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing are eligible for the Emory Advantage program, and more than 634 students have benefited from the program since its inception. In addition, more than $11 million has been raised so far during Campaign Emory toward the University’s goal of building a permanent endowment.

In today’s economy, programs like Emory Advantage and other scholarship are often the best chance for many promising students to attend a university like Emory without the burden of debt. Says Provost Earl Lewis: “Funds to attend Emory during difficult financial times are critical to our mission of educating our best and brightest regardless of the student’s ability to pay. If ever there was a time to help, this is it.”

Emory Advantage is just one of many programs at Emory where gifts can be directed to help provide critical resources for current and prospective students. Regardless of area of interest, scholarship and fellowship funding opportunities exist in all corners of Emory’s campus. And each of these areas has identified student support as a high priority within Campaign Emory.

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