Enhancements Remove Financial, Social Barriers for Scholarship Students
In an effort to help more Youngstown City Schools students earn degrees at Youngstown State University, the Youngstown Foundation announced major enhancements to its $3 million Y-STAR program, through which city school students earn full four-year scholarships to YSU.
Beginning this year, Y-STAR will cover the cost of personal computers, YSU-owned housing, meals, and other expenses that have proven to be formidable barriers to participants since the program was launched in 2012 with a $3 million commitment.
“The goal is that Y-STAR students receive a loan-free college education right here in Youngstown,” said Lynnette Forde, president of the Youngstown Foundation.
“We have learned in recent years that, even though Y-STAR covered traditional expenses like tuition, books, and fees, many students were faced with other costs that made it impossible for them to complete their education. Many of them transferred to other universities where comprehensive scholarship programs took care of these other expenses, and some were forced to cut their college education short.
“With the support of YSU and the school district, we are reinventing Y-STAR with the goals of educating more Youngstown scholars and enhancing our community’s pool of college-educated professionals. This is a team effort, and we believe we have a winning team.”
Y-STAR students are still required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).
As part of a new agreement among the foundation, university, and school district, YSU has agreed to promote its academic and social support services to Y-STAR participants more vigorously. These social services “create a feeling of belonging” on campus that can make the difference between a student continuing at YSU, transferring to another university or dropping out, Forde said.
The school district has agreed to promote Y-STAR’s advantages more prominently to district students and their families. Forde believes more Youngstown students will enroll in Y-STAR if they understand the extent of the financial support available from the foundation as well as the support services they can utilize at YSU.
Students interested in learning more about the Y-STAR program should contact their school’s guidance counselor or the financial aid office at YSU.
Ohio residents interested in donating to the Y-STAR program can learn more through The Youngstown Foundation website, www.youngstownfoundation.org, under Community Impact.
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