POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Vassar College President Catharine Hill announced this week a new initiative aimed at increasing the affordability of higher education for Poughkeepsie High School students.
The Poughkeepsie High School Scholarship Program, which will begin next fall with the Vassar class of 2012, will eliminate student loans from financial aid packages awarded to Poughkeepsie High School students accepted to Vassar, and replace those loans with Vassar scholarship funding. Hill made the announcement at a gathering of parents and students at the high school Tuesday evening. The program will be applicable to students admitted to Vassar who are graduates of Poughkeepsie High School and have spent at least the final two years of their high school careers at the school.
"We are very pleased to partner with Poughkeepsie High School to make a Vassar education as accessible as possible to students here in our local neighborhood," Hill said. "There are many ways in which the Poughkeepsie School District and Vassar are working together and this seems a natural continuation of those efforts."
Vassar adheres to a "need-blind" admissions policy, admitting students without taking their financial need into account. Once students are admitted, the college meets 100% of their full demonstrated financial need for all four years. Approximately half of all Vassar students receive need-based financial aid from the college, and Vassar awards over $30 million annually in scholarship grants funds.
Financial aid packages differ in amount and composition, depending on a number of factors, including what a student and his or her family is able to contribute. While Vassar works to keep loans to a minimum in all of its aid packages, the Poughkeepsie High School initiative eliminates loans completely.
"We hope that this new scholarship initiative will encourage talented Poughkeepsie High students to consider us as they are exploring their college options," said Vassar Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid David Borus. "The program builds on our other ongoing efforts to bring students from the local area to Vassar."