When it came time to think about college, Katelyn Fanning realized she just couldn’t add the burden of her college expenses to her parents’ already stressed finances.
“So I took on the responsibility of paying for school myself,” she says.
The first two years went well for her. She had money saved from high school. During the summers, she lived at home and worked at Lowe’s. Her parents helped out with books—a big expense—and she also took out school loans, the low interest Federal Subsidized loans which her family qualified for because of financial need.
And UIS helped out, too, because she was part of the CAP Honors program.
During the school year, she worked about twenty hours a week, and had her earnings go straight from her bank into her tuition account. She never even saw the money.
“Twenty hours of work may not seem like a lot,” she says, “but my major—clinical laboratory science—requires lots of laboratory time, and the Honors program demands a lot of time for study.
“I know why I’m here, so I’m careful about taking on too many hours of work and careful as well about extracurricular activities.”
This past summer, she did an internship at the Southern Illinois Medical School. She had to live here in Springfield, which is more expensive than living at home. She tried to live cheaply and eat cheaply too—”macaroni and cheese,” she says, “and Ramen noodles and shopping at ‘Mom’s pantry’ whenever she was able to get home to Peoria (thanks, Mom!).”
But at the end of the summer, Katelyn had a lot less money to pay for college. “I’m still glad I did the internship,” she says. She gained a lot of confidence and learned so much about her profession.
She says, “Thank goodness for the Central Illinois Community Blood Bank. They have a scholarship for clinical laboratory students, and this year I am the recipient. That made the difference for me.”
Paying her own way has taught Katelyn about finances, but even more, she’s a better student because of it. She works harder and has more pride in her schoolwork. “I have grown as a person because of it,” she says.
She wants donors to know that lots of students—more than anyone might think—are trying to pay their own way through college. “But it’s hard to do,” she says, “if not impossible—without your scholarship help.”
In a few weeks, there’s going to be a scholarship luncheon where donors and students meet. Katelyn is looking forward to personally thanking the Blood Bank. “I want them to know how much their generous gift has helped me. I only wish more scholarships were available to help other students who are having to find ways to pay for their college.”