Newcombe Scholarship Provides Financial Relief for Women in University College

Monday, December 8, 2008

Working women and mothers have taken advantage of the flexibility of Saint Joseph's University College since 1946. The program plays a pivotal role for adult and part-time students who want to continue their studies through undergraduate or accelerated degree programs. Now, even more women have the opportunity to pursue their academic ambitions in the University College through the Newcombe Scholarships for Mature Women Students program.

Established with a grant from the Newcombe Foundation, the scholarships are made possible by the vision of Charlotte W. Newcombe, a Philadelphia philanthropist with a strong appreciation for higher education. Since 1981, the Newcombe Foundation has awarded scholarships to select institutions based on specific eligibility standards. SJU is proud to be included among this exclusive group. Recipients must be at least 25 years old and have completed 60 credits toward their undergraduate degree, or at least half their coursework. Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $2,500. This semester ten SJU students received scholarships.

"Saint Joseph's grant is for women who are returning to school after a period of time and who might have some special circumstances that make their financial needs stronger," explained Bernadette McNulty, director of corporate and foundation relations at SJU. "Saint Joseph's doesn't receive many scholarships for this population, so we are very excited to offer these awards."

The University must match the amount provided by the Foundation in order to offer these scholarships on an annual basis. These matches can be made through contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations. "It is a very prestigious scholarship, and that's why they make it challenging," said McNulty.

Several Saint Joseph's University students are already reaping the benefits of Newcombe Scholarships. Marsella Ransome, an elementary education major, says she is grateful that the Newcombe Scholarship has eased the financial burden of tuition and books. "The Jesuit education I am receiving at Saint Joseph's is preparing me to be a competent, well-rounded and prepared teacher," explained Ransome. "I am confident that when I finish at St. Joe's, I will have had the best education and preparation to ensure my teaching success."

Amanda James, a legal studies major, has also been inspired to continue her education at Saint Joseph's University. "I wanted to complete my degree for the satisfaction of following through with my goals, and to set an example for my daughter, as well as other single mothers," she said.

James says she's thankful for the personalized education Saint Joseph's has provided. "The programs and advisement at this institution effectively guide students throughout their educational journey. In addition to education, it's the guidance of leaders at SJU that plays a big role in students achieving their goals." James is set to graduate in December 2008, with plans to attend law school in the upcoming year.

Candida Castro, a criminal justice major, hopes to earn a master's degree in her field. "My educational journey hasn't been easy, but, with foundations such as the Charlotte W. Newcombe, the path becomes brighter and easier to achieve."

--Megan Larrisey '09 (M.A.)

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