Getting an acceptance letter and enrolling in college is only the beginning. It takes a lot of forward momentum to reach the finish line.
Every Eagle starts their journey with a plan and a goal. But then “life” happens. It can be an increase in rent, a car breaking down and even a trip to the ER when combined with the overall expense of college.
During those moments, a few hundred dollars in well-timed assistance can mean the difference between a student dropping out or continuing on a path to graduation, and the upward socio-economic mobility and financial stability that comes as a result of earning a degree.
Financial Need is a Barrier to Student Success
EWU is working with friends, alumni and other community partners to raise funds that help to close financial gaps and support degree completion for hardworking students.
A majority of EWU students work part- and even full-time jobs to help cover the cost of tuition, books and living expenses – yet still, experience financial shortfalls. View the cost of attendance.
Eastern’s own research shows that a $4,600 gap between earnings and expenses can cause highly-motivated Eagles to drop out. As the clock ticks toward graduation, financial needs can compound, putting more students at risk of leaving with debt and no degree.
Soaring Eagle Scholarships
The Soaring Eagle Scholarship Fund fills financial gaps for juniors and seniors, helping them to stay on a path to degree completion. These scholarships help students who show “grit” while working their way through college.
Elsa Chávez, a first-generation college student, earned a Soaring Eagle Scholarship. She says without scholarship support she wouldn’t be at Eastern.
“More than anything, these scholarships have significantly reduced the financial strain on my family and I,” Elsa says. “I have been blessed by the support of scholarship donors and my hope is that more students can continue to accomplish their academic goals here with scholarship help.”
Experiential Learning Funding
Experiential Learning funds open doors for students to accept internships that build professional skills, résumés and credentials, but might not offer financial compensation. The fund also helps with costs for students to attend leadership conferences and participate in research projects and other activities that advance expertise.
Narya Naillon received an internship stipend that allowed her to accept an unpaid internship in human resource management at Spokane Neighborhood Action Program (SNAP), a local nonprofit.
“I have had the privilege of getting many opportunities at hands-on experience and I feel that I have learned so much through the tasks and responsibilities I’ve encountered, I’m so grateful for the funding that allowed me to put my full efforts into my, and SNAP’s, development.”
Support Comes from Alumni and Friends
The Krumble Foundation pledged $1.35 million for life-changing scholarships that have helped 45 juniors and seniors a year – for three straight years – persist to degree completion. In addition, the generous gift has provided internship stipends for dozens of other students.
A Krumble stipend allowed Janeli Sanchez ‘21, a first-generation student who earned a bachelor’s in social work, to accept an unpaid internship at Excelsior Wellness. Which provides intensive wrap-around services for young people experiencing mental health and behavior challenges, and their families, helped Janeli develop professional skills that align with her goal of becoming a licensed counselor. The résumé-building component helped her land a job at a Wenatchee-based nonprofit right after graduation.
“I think that scholarship donors don’t always know the huge impact they have on the lives of students, Janeli says. “They truly make everything possible.”