A marathon, not a sprint: Help our students to complete the race.
Supporting Project Graduate is like giving cold water to runners in need of one last dose of stamina and encouragement.
At NIU, our mission of “Your Future. Our Focus.” is more than a statement. We are proud to deliver on that promise by welcoming great numbers of first-generation college students (54.2%) and students from lower-income (50.2% are Pell-eligible).
We know that many struggle to pay for college while balancing personal expenses and family responsibilities. We also know that, for many of our licensure students, financial hardships mount during their student-teaching semesters when some give up other jobs or drastically reduce their hours to fulfill the requirements of our partner school districts. Similar issues arise for our non-licensures students as they complete internships or capstone projects.
Your generosity can reduce this stress and remove these obstacles.
Why is this important?
Each year, hundreds of Huskies are nearing the final leg of their journeys. Based on our student profile, we know that about half might need financial help – and their communications with us confirm that.
- Some need to pause – “stop out” – their education to work to save enough money to complete their degrees.
- Some need new tires on their cars, or help with gas money, to drive to their placements.
- Some need money to pay for the licensure exams required by the Illinois State Board of Education.
- Some need tuition assistance.
- Some need help purchasing reliable technology devices to connect to the electronic platforms of the host districts or intern sites.
- Some need help with child care.
How will Project Graduate advance this cause?
Currently, NIU’s Annual Fund telephone campaign is the only source for our hardship scholarships as they come into the college as unrestricted dollars.
We’re also unable to determine how many of students drop out because of financial need without letting us know their “why” – or whether they were aware that local help was available.
If we build an endowed fund of $1 million, we potentially could generate $40,000 per year to award $500 scholarships to 80 students each year.