CHENEY, Wash. - It's not always easy for college students to donate money, but Jan. 17-31, it will be as quick and easy as saying, "I'd like to Round It Up for Scholarships!"
For the first time in the history of the university, the Associated Students of Eastern Washington University (ASEWU), the office of Alumni Advancement and EWU Bookstores are teaming up to help students and other bookstore customers contribute to the EWU General Scholarship Fund- in pennies, nickels, dimes and dollars - at check-out.
"When students check out at the EWU Bookstores in Cheney and Spokane, we hope they'll choose to round up their totals to the nearest dollar," said Director of Alumni Advancement Lisa Poplawski. "It's a quick and easy way they can make a difference in the lives of so many of their fellow students who would not be enrolled at EWU if they did not receive scholarships."
ASEWU President Oscar Ocaña and Councilman Hayden Indahl have taken lead positions in promoting the Round It Up for Scholarships campaign. As the "faces" of the campaign, they posed for posters that are on display in the bookstores.
"Without donor support for scholarships, hundreds of our brightest students and thousands of our most successful alumni would not have been able to attend EWU," Ocaña said. "As students, we can give hope to our fellow students by providing options and opportunities that lead to success. Each one of us can afford to drop a few coins and dollars to make that happen."
Declining state budgets continue to lead to increased tuition, which leads to a greater need for scholarships, which are funded by donors' generosity. And the need is great. In the 2010-11 academic year, 14 percent of EWU students relied on scholarships. Last winter, 2,590 students applied for 2011-12 EWU scholarships.
"This scholarship is highly important to me because with it I could pay for part of my third year's tuition and other payments here at EWU," said one grateful scholarship recipient this year. "I do not come from a wealthy family, so I will be responsible for financing my own education."
Poplawski pointed out that Eastern's low-cost, high-value tuition, compared to other state universities, attracts a large population of first-generation students. "Many of these students meet or exceed Eastern's acceptance qualifications, yet the rising cost of tuition, fees and books put a college education out of reach. That's where scholarships come in to provide them the opportunity to succeed at Eastern and in careers after they graduate."
Poplawski, Ocaña and Indahl also have been enlisting the help of Cheney businesses to join in the Round It Up for Scholarships efforts. ASEWU purchased white piggy banks, which have been adorned with ASEWU and campaign stickers. During the campaign, look for them at nearly a dozen Cheney businesses where anyone can donate their change for the EWU General Scholarship Fund.
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