New Scholarship Benefits Single Mothers Pursuing Education
by Ellie Walburg (B.S. ’17)
With a continued commitment to serving students where they're at, Cornerstone University's Professional & Graduate Studies (PGS) division announced a new scholarship program. Funded by a generous grant from Monticello College Foundation, the scholarships will provide financial resources for up to five single mother students based on financial need for the upcoming 2019-20 year.
The PGS scholarship is designed to empower single moms desiring to grow in their careers and create better opportunities for their families and themselves by advancing their education.
"Often, single mothers must simultaneously navigate employment, child-rearing and financial challenges," said Bob Sack, vice president of advancement at Cornerstone. "Consequently, it may be extremely difficult for single moms to identify available time and funds for the pursuit of a college degree."
According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the number of single mothers in college more than doubled between 1999 and 2012. And, out of all female undergraduate students, only 28 percent of single mothers completed their degree within six years, compared to 51 percent of all women from 2003 to 2009.
With such a growing trend and need for support, CU seeks opportunities to meet the needs of single parents passionate about being an example for their children and pursuing their goals.
"Our team of development professionals is constantly assessing our university's initiatives and attempting to match our need to fund those initiatives with the objectives of potential donors," Sack said. "Our partnership with the Monticello College Foundation continues the support of students by providing greater access to a life-changing educational journey through a need-based scholarship."
A financial resource such as a scholarship eliminates some of the key barriers that may interfere with a single mother's journey in pursuing her education. While Pell grants and other financial aid opportunities are available, there is often a gap between overall financial aid and the total cost of tuition. This scholarship is designed to bridge that gap and reduce or remove that financial burden.
"The Monticello College Foundation continues its mission of promoting female education through this grant to Cornerstone," said Laura Shansey, executive director of the Monticello College Foundation. "We are proud to support single mothers working to improve their lives through continuing education. Giving women these opportunities improves our society as a whole and shows what is possible for everyone to achieve."
Scholarships like these allow students of all backgrounds and life circumstances to thrive.
"The scholarship can remove the financial impediment of accessing higher education that many single moms face," Sack said. "Subsequently, attaining a college degree can catalyze a graduate to both extrinsic vocational benefits and intrinsic fulfillment."
This financial resource opportunity is a testament to Cornerstone's passion for empowering students as influencers for Christ in the world.
"It is our desire to equip students to be successful in their careers and callings," Sack said. "This scholarship helps students access such preparations when they might not otherwise be able to do so. When a graduate is successful in her vocation, it often improves the likelihood she can have greater influence for Christ in her workplace."
With the opportunities for advancement provided through this scholarship and other supportive services, single mothers facing financial barriers can continue to grow their influence in their families and communities.