What's Happening?

What's Happening?

The Impact of College Scholarships

Studies tell us that the number one reason why someone chooses not to go to school is they cannot afford the costs of tuition, fees combined with the lost income of not being able to work.  

That was the case for Rebecca Grunenwald, who in 2002 “wanted to go to school so bad to make something” of her life.  During her senior year she applied for “as many scholarships as possible” because “I didn’t want to live in debt and my parents paying for it wasn't an option at that time."

Getting the Anna Hudson Erbacher Scholarship from The Schenectady Foundation in 2003 paid her entire tuition “which was a huge relief and helped ensure my mom didn’t have to struggle for my dream,” Grunenwald said. She completed her associates degree at what is now called SUNY Schenectady and completed one semester at the College of St. Rose in Albany when starting her own family pushed studies to the side for a few years. Below, she stands with three of her four children in their kitchen in January when Madison was 8 years old, Savannah, 15 months old and Alyssa was 11.

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/2021-blog-images/Beckydaughters.jpg

She completed her degree online in 2013, finally reaching her dream of teaching in an early childhood setting. She worked at the YWCA Early Learning Center until recently starting her own childcare business. "When I look back on it, I really don't know what might have happened without the scholarship," Grunenwald said.  "I'm just glad I don't have to worry about it."

A Sallie Mae report How America Pays For College found that 58 percent of families in 2019-20 used scholarships and grants to cover at least some portion of a college education, making it the second biggest source of funding, after parent income and savings.  The Schenectady Foundation has three scholarship opportunities available for students graduating this spring. This link explains the three programs, tips to get started and the online portal. Applications must be completed by March 31.  


« Back to News