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The Foundation introduces new scholarships, plans to grow funds for enhanced four-year outcomes

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The New College Foundation, housed at the Keating Center, raises and invests in scholarship money. There are two categories of scholarships the foundation generates to keep funds running: endowments and expendables. Three recently added four-year scholarships, raised from endowed donations, offer incoming and prospective students new opportunities for financial support.  

The Skestos Scholarship was started by one of the Board of Trustee members, George Skestos, who wanted to create a scholarship program that gives students the skills and tools to become successful leaders both in and out of the New College community. 

The Jakes Scholarship was started two years ago when John Jakes, a renowned author, got together with a group of friends and collaboratively decided to create a scholarship in his name for students interested in writing. However, it is not a scholarship intended only for students who want to pursue a career in writing. If writing is simply a hobby, students are still welcome to apply.

Lastly, the Archimedes Scholarship is for students interested in a career in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). Judith and Andrew Acondamis, donors of this new scholarship, had successful careers in STEM fields and want to help promote more students to do the same. It is a double program: one part helps local high schoolers attend any college in the country and the other specifically helps someone attend New College. 

There are approximately 11 students that were awarded one of the newer scholarships: eight Skestos scholars, two Jakes scholars and one Archimedes scholar. MaryAnne Young, the executive director of the foundation, said the scholarships were geared towards first years because each scholarship is awarded for four years. Each scholarship program is projected to grow in both funds and student recipients. This is possible because the money for these scholarships are endowed, meaning that they get invested.

“So what [an endowed scholarship] does is establish a scholarship in perpetuity, and over time endowments grow,” Young said. “So if somebody starts a $100,000 scholarship, that provides about $5,000 annually but as it grows, and it grows over time, it becomes $200,000 then provides $10,000 for scholarships [annually].”

Donors who have endowed scholarships have leeway to set criteria for who gets their money. For instance, the Jakes Scholarship was to promote writing and the Skestos Scholarship is leadership based. However, the Foundation prefers undesignated scholarships so the Office of Financial Aid can award scholarships to any deserving student. 

“Sometimes [donors] have real interests and we work with them on their interests but make sure it’s a match for the college,” Young said.

First-year Sarah Leah Borodiansky, one of the Jakes scholars, feels fortunate to have been awarded this scholarship.

“Having the Jakes scholarship pay for a portion of my tuition is very beneficial because more money can go towards other things I will need in the future,” Borodiansky said.

As for expendable scholarships, the key difference is that these don’t get invested. Also, the amount of scholarship money is usually all given away within the year it was raised.

“We raise around $800,000 to $900,000 annually in expandable scholarships,” Young said. “So we need to ask donors every single year, ‘Will you give us a scholarship?’”

Young also mentioned that 85 percent of New College students are from Florida, and such scholarships are ways to market the college to other students around the country. With every scholarship students receive, Young believes thank you notes are important to show a donor that the scholarship was well given and can possibly build a student and mentor relationship.

“I’ve seen over the years that students and donors keep in touch even after students graduate,” Young said.

For more information about scholarships, contact financial aid or visit ncf.edu/scholarships.

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