ASMSU close to allocating $300,000 for new scholarship
ASMSU, MSU’s undergraduate student government, is working to create another academic financial opportunity for students by constructing a new scholarship program.
At the most recent committee meeting, the finance committee approved a $300,000 allocation from its Special Projects funds to create an endowed scholarship. The bill will need to pass through the general assembly at Thursday’s meeting for the allocation to occur.
ASMSU Vice President for Governmental Affairs Jessica Leacher said the money allocated for the scholarship would be an investment in students.
The bill stated that the major objective of the program is to give back to students in the best possible way, adding that the scholarship would be created in partnership with the ASMSU Alumni Association.
“Our next step here is bringing everyone to the table,” ASMSU President Evan Martinak said. He explained that ASMSU representatives will have to meet with ASMSU Alumni Association members, as well as University Advancement staff, to put together the endowment criteria.
Martinak said the criteria would determine who would be responsible for administering the funds and what criteria would be set for scholarship recipients. It is unclear whether the scholarship will be need or merit-based.
“We have templates and former examples from past (scholarships), but it’s all about the current people involved to develop the criteria,” Martinak said.
He added that officials hope to get the scholarship and criteria finalized by the end of the spring semester.
Students then would be able to start applying by next fall semester.
In the past, ASMSU scholarships were given to up to five students, but Martinak anticipates this scholarship would be given to around five to ten students, since the organization is setting more funding aside for the program.
ASMSU used to fund The Respect scholarship, which was used to help students who have faced life crises that would keep them from continuing their education. Students used to receive between $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the situation.
Martinak said this scholarship will have a lot of impact on students and will last for a long time, describing it as being “in the family” this time since their main partner will be the ASMSU Alumni Association.
While ASMSU has received some recent flack for new programs for which it has spent funding, such as the bike share program, microbiology and English sophomore Emily McLachlan said the new scholarship could be helpful for many students.
“$300,000 is a nice number for sure,” said McLachlan, adding that any sort of help is good for students, since tuition and finances are a continual struggle.