With Saver’s Scholarship, Washington College Broadens Its Initiatives Toward Affordability

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washington collegeCHESTERTOWN, MD—President Sheila Bair today announced Washington College’s latest initiative toward making college more affordable, a program that will reward families who have saved money for their children’s education. Called the Saver’s Scholarship, the pilot program will match the amount that families contribute from a 529 college savings plan or an Educational Savings Account, up to $2,500 per year, to pay for their student’s tuition.

“While we understand the need for some students and families to borrow responsibly to pay for college, Washington College also wants to support those who have set aside money for higher education,” President Bair says. “This new scholarship is designed to reward that foresight and to encourage more such savings.”

The Saver’s Scholarship joins two other major affordability initiatives that President Bair has launched in the last year, in addition to freezing tuition: Dam the Debt, which helps graduating seniors by reducing their federally subsidized loan debt; and George’s Brigade, which provides full tuition, fees, room, and board for high-achieving, high-need, first-generation students. In addition to these new programs, Washington College annually provides more than $23 million in grants and scholarships, with 90 percent of students receiving merit-based scholarships or need-based financial aid.

“We recognize that not all families have the resources to save, so we are working to make more scholarship aid available to low-income families,” President Bair says. “For those who can set money aside, we want to encourage that savings ethic, since it helps students avoid unsustainable borrowing and the burden of student loan debt after graduation.”

Qualification for the Saver’s Scholarship begins in academic year 2016-17, and the first scholarships will be credited to the students’ financial aid awards in 2017-18. To receive the Saver’s Scholarship, a student must maintain continuous fulltime enrollment, and must use funds to help pay for tuition from a 529 or ESAplan that has been established at least three years before enrollment. The College will match the previous year’s contribution, up to $2,500. Students who qualify for the Saver’s Scholarship can still pursue other types of scholarship aid, both from Washington College and elsewhere.

Families interested in learning more details about the Saver’s Scholarship can visit washcoll.edu/savers.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and 40 nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

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