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Why Scholarships Matter

Growing Cost

Paying for a DegreeThe figures below compare the total anticipated cost for one year of college during the specified years (1983, 1990, 2001, 2010).

195 hours vs. 2,504 hours

Since 1983, adjusted for inflation, tuition has increased 397%. That means tuition has almost quadrupled. At the same time, students’ ability to earn money, based on the minimum wage, has increased only 24%.

In 1983, tuition cost $1,304 (adjusted for inflation). It would take 195 hours working at minimum wage to earn that tuition.

In 2010, tuition cost $20,661. It would take 2,504 hours to earn that tuition.

No wonder students find it so difficult to pay their own way through college.

Limited Earning Power

Summer EarningThere was a time when a student could work hard during the summer, work part-time throughout the year, and have enough to meet most of his or her tuition expenses.

Not so today.

The chart belows shows a sharp decrease in what a student can earn—so sharp a decrease that if students worked fulltime and saved all their summer money, they would need to work 51 hours a week the rest of the year to fully meet their tuition.

If this sounds impossible for a student to take a full load at college and work so many hours, think again. Too many UIS students work extra jobs in the summer and fulltime during the year, even as they attempt to carry a full load. They do it because they have a dream of completing their degree.

Hours of Work per WeekPlease help these earnest, dedicated, hard-working students! Your scholarship gifts can make such a big difference to them.

Growing Debt

Given the rising cost of college and students’ limited ability to earn enough to pay for college, it’s no surprise that student debt growing. As of June 2010, according to the Federal Reserve, total student loan debt passed total credit card debt ($830 billion in student debt, $826.5 billion in credit card debt).

Average Loan DebtThe figures below go back only five years, but during that short time, the amount of debt students and their families have had to take out has increased 72% percent.

Bear in mind, as well, that some students and their families are unable to qualify for loans of any kind—federal or bank loans. This was Dan Garcia’s situation. When his family encountered financial difficulties—including his father being laid off from his job—a scholarship meant the difference between staying at UIS or taking a year or more off from college to help his family and earn money to pay for tuition.

Limited State Contributions

Each year the state of Illinois contributes a certain amount to the cost of tuition at a public university, and students must find a way to cover the rest of the cost. The comparison of the two amounts is expressed as “The State Funding Ratio.”

Since 1983, when the comparisons below begin, the state’s contribution has decreased quite dramatically, with the state contributing less and less to the cost of a student’s instruction.

Sttae Funding RatiosIn 1983, for each dollar of tuition a student had to find a way to pay for, the state contributed $6.50. By 2010, that amount had fallen to $1.00—equal to the student’s contribution. In 2011, the amount is only 82 cents—even as the amount students must cover has risen 400%.

Illinois needs college graduates. Can you see that if the state cannot afford to fund public higher education and students cannot meet the resulting higher expenses, why we need your help?

Do UIS students really need more scholarships?

In 2009 (the most recent year for which we have these statistics), only 28% of the students who applied for scholarships at UIS received one. That leaves 299 students needing scholarships, but unable to receive them.

Please help.

Need for Scholarships

Need for ScholarshipsIn 2009 (most recent available data), only 28% of UIS students who applied for scholarships received a scholarship. Some did not meet the donor’s limited criteria, some did not qualify, but for far too many (often with financial need), there was no scholarship available.

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