YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Youngstown State University Foundation will allocate a record $7.4 million in scholarship support to YSU next academic year, helping ease the rising cost of education for thousands of students.
Over three years, the YSU Foundation’s scholarship allocations to the university have increased by $2.6 million, from $4.8 million in 2011-12 to $7.4 million in 2014-15.
“During this time of increasing costs, we are pleased to raise the amount of financial support available to students pursuing their educational goals at YSU,” said Tom Fleming, chair of the YSU Foundation Board of Trustees.
A year ago, the Foundation board completed a five-year strategic plan that included changes to the way in which the Foundation distributes money to the university. In the past, only the income from the Foundation’s endowment holdings was distributed.
The new plan allows for 4 percent of a three-year rolling average of the endowment’s market value to be distributed annually to the university. The change is the primary reason for the increase in available funds over the past two years, as well as growth of the Foundation’s assets.
This current academic year, nearly 3,000 YSU students received scholarship funding from the YSU Foundation.
“Generous support from the YSU Foundation will be integral to attracting, retaining and increasing the number of highly-qualified students who can be successful at the university,” said Gary Swegan, YSU associate vice president for Enrollment Planning and Management.
Established in 1966 by long time Youngstown College President Howard Jones, the YSU Foundation, with assets of $215 million, is the largest foundation between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The Foundation is independent from YSU yet exists solely to support the university and its students.
“So many of our board members, like me, are YSU graduates and remember the days of financing their college education,” said Garry Mrozek, vice chair of the Foundation board. “Generous donors make it possible for the foundation to help students reach their educational goals, despite the increasing cost of higher education.”
In the 2011-12 academic year, the Foundation awarded $4.8 million in scholarships. That amount was increased by more than 8 percent in the 2012-13 academic year, during which nearly $5.2 million was awarded.
The allocation jumped by more than 30 percent this academic year, with nearly $6.9 million in scholarships awarded. An additional half million will be allocated next year, according to statistic provided by the university.