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Scholarships Aid Graduate Students

Financing graduate school can be much harder than financing baccalaureate degrees because there is less financial aid available, according to graduate admissions experts.

The SUNY Plattsburgh Office of Graduate Admissions is aware of the burden placed upon graduate students. Director Marguerite Adelman said many need help funding their success, and she is happy to offer aid through programs like the Keybank Foundation and the Graduate Excellence scholarships.

Keybank Scholarship

The Keybank Foundation Scholarship is the result of a grant written by professionals at SUNY Plattsburgh who wanted to address graduate student financial need.

The selection committee looks at factors like grade point average while trying to determine the most deserving candidates.

This year, the group selected three graduate students, and each received $833 under this scholarship: Megan Krywanczyk, a Master of Arts and Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology student; Whitney Stiles, a Master of Arts and Certificate of Advanced Study in School Psychology student; and Torunn Aberle, a Master of Arts in Leadership student.

Krywancyk was surprised when she learned she had received the scholarship because she had not applied for anything. She called financial aid and was told that she was selected through merit.

“It made me feel really great and that working hard really does pay off,” she said.

The Graduate Excellence Scholarship

The previous director of graduate admissions, alumna Sharon Whalen Derr ’90 G’97, started the Graduate Excellence Scholarship because, in her 30 years of working for the college, she saw firsthand how graduate students struggled to afford tuition.

A few dedicated individuals donate to this fund every year, said Adelman. Most years, the fund has only enough money to support one scholarship. Donations were higher this year, however, and two $500 scholarships were awarded.

Krisann D’Aurizio and Nicole DeGennaro, who are both students in the Master of Science in Special Education program, are this year’s recipients.

Winners must demonstrate academic excellence; they usually have perfect grade point averages, according to Aldeman.

D’Aurizio said she was sitting on the edge of her bed with a huge smile on her face when she received news of her scholarship.

“I put great pride in my education, and I truly believe an excellent education can bring endless opportunities,” she said.

She also wishes there was more financial aid available to graduate students.

Adelman agrees.

“If we want to maintain these programs and maintain the students and promote that kind of academic excellence, more of us have to give, and more money has to be raised for graduate student scholarships,” she said.

Those interested in helping with these efforts can contact SUNY Plattsburgh at 518-564-2090 or email the college at [email protected].

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