New EIU Grant Helps Some Middle Class Families Afford College
Eastern Illinois University is offering a new grant to help make college affordable for middle class families, according to Carol Waldmann, interim financial aid director. The new grant -- known as the EIU Opportunity Fund -- will provide $1,000 per student for up to four years.
“This grant -- which does not have to be repaid -- will be offered to students who have already qualified for one of the Commitment to Excellence merit scholarships or a Transfer Excellence Award but whose family income puts them just over the limit to qualify for a federal Pell Grant,” she said.
Those students with an expected family contribution of between $5,158 and $12,000 are being offered the additional grant.
“In some cases, the additional grant will reduce the expected family contribution,” Waldmann said. “In others, the grant will reduce the amount of student loans needed to meet the financial aid requirements.
“We saw that some of our middle income families were struggling to afford coming to EIU and we decided this was one way we could help,” she continued. “The grants are another illustration of EIU’s commitment to help families afford college in the tradition of the highly successful Panther Promise.”
Waldmann said that every student in this category has been offered the additional grant, even if they already accepted their financial aid package. But, she also noted that there were about 200 students who have been accepted but who haven’t registered yet.
“In almost every case, the hesitation is related to cost,” she said, “and we hope this will help tip the scale and allow the student to come to EIU.”