Monday, November 9, 2009

Ferris Helps Fill Gap in Public Aid Relative To Michigan Promise Grant And Michigan Competitive Scholarship

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University announced today (Monday, Nov. 9) the university will fund the shortfall in student aid for Fall Semester 2009 created by the non-renewal of the Michigan Promise Grant and Michigan Competitive Scholarship.

President David Eisler announced that Ferris will provide financial assistance to 1,312 Ferris students who had expected to receive the Michigan Promise Grant to help offset tuition costs. Affecting 10.4 percent of Ferris’ undergraduate student population, the university will provide $1.15 million of financial assistance to students for Fall Semester 2009. This decision was unanimously endorsed by Ferris’ Board of Trustees.

Additionally, the Michigan Competitive Scholarship funding was reduced by 50 percent. This impacts 616 students from Ferris who were identified to receive this scholarship. Affecting 4.9 percent of the undergraduate student population, Ferris also will fund this shortfall.

Ferris is scheduled to receive one-time Federal Stimulus funds in the amount of $1.3 million, Eisler said. The Federal Stimulus funds will provide enough dollars to aid students who were initially awarded the Michigan Promise Grant and Michigan Competitive Scholarship for Fall Semester 2009 only. Kendall College of Art and Design will use $102,000 in operational funds to aid its students initially awarded these scholarships from the state of Michigan for Fall 2009 Semester.

“Our students are relying on this support and have made their budgets based on the promise of these funds,” Eisler said. “The board of trustees and I believe billing students this late in the semester would constitute an unreasonable financial burden for them.

“From my perspective this is clearly the right thing to do for our students,” he said. “This is an important move on the part of the university to help keep a Ferris education affordable. With this action, the university has made it clear that our first priority is the education, well-being and support of our students.”

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