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Bloomington Faculty Council raises over $70,000 to support students

The generosity of Indiana University Bloomington faculty has helped three current students and two former students continue their studies.

Since 2017, 63 faculty members have donated $72,587 to Bloomington Faculty Council Scholarship, a fund that provides scholarships to students with a financial need. Special consideration is given to underrepresented populations, including students who do not qualify for federal- or state-based financial aid because of their citizenship status — such as the three currently being helped.

The students are each receiving about $23,000 over the course of their time at IU, said David Johnson, vice provost for enrollment management.

Previously, two other students received one-year Bloomington Faculty Council scholarships of $2,500 each, Johnson added.

“This level of personal financial generosity by the Bloomington Faculty Council is helping deserving students to fund and complete their education,” Johnson said. “Two former students have graduated and completed their IU education thanks to this scholarship fund. Of course, there are more students who will need this funding, and I encourage more faculty to contribute to this necessary fund to support deserving and qualifying IU students.”

Bloomington Faculty Council President Cate Reck told faculty about the donations and scholarship support at their Oct. 4 meeting.

“As IU faculty know, it’s not only coursework that can be challenging for students, but figuring out how to cover the cost of tuition is often an added worry,” Reck said later. “This BFC scholarship demonstrates how our IU faculty choose to help transform our students both in and outside of the classroom.”

The current recipients expressed gratitude for the scholarships.

“It has helped me a lot,” said Diana, a junior studying criminal justice, who is using the scholarship to supplement her income from an on-campus job. “My dad is the only one working, and my sister just started college this year as well, so we are tight on money, so this is really, really helpful.”

Esther, a sophomore neuroscience major, said the Bloomington Faculty Council scholarship has been a tremendous help after her other scholarships ended.

“Compared to last year, I was able to take out less loans this year, and that helps my family a lot,” Esther said.

Joana, a sophomore studying international law, said the scholarship has allowed her to focus on academics and not worry about how to pay for school.

“It makes me feel that how hard I’m working pays off. And it takes so much weight off my shoulders,” she said. “I still work but can really focus on school.”

The Bloomington Faculty Council hopes to sustain the scholarship fund for years to come, Reck said.

“Every contribution, no matter the amount, will make a difference in the lives of our students,” Reck said. “The more donations we receive, the more scholarships we can award to students.”

Since the fund was initiated, some faculty have set up reoccurring gifts via payroll deduction or annual one-time gifts. Faculty and staff are excited to contribute to supporting students when they learn about the scholarship, said Emily Arth, director of the Office of Scholarships and interim director of the Office of Development.

Faculty and staff can help students find scholarships they are eligible for by encouraging them to visit One.IU, Arth said. The scholarship application process opens each October and has a March deadline.

Faculty and staff who are interested in supporting this scholarship should email Arth at enarth@iu.edu or visit the Bloomington Faculty Council Scholarship page.

Kirk Johannesen is a communications specialist in the Office of the Vice President for Communications and Marketing.