ESL, SUNY Brockport team up to provide more scholarships for students of lower-income families

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — When it comes to college, it is important to get the full experience. That’s why SUNY Brockport and ESL are teaming up together to ensure that happens.

"This is achieved by providing academic, personal and career support these resources along with the four-year scholarship provide relief at times of need," said Faheed Masood president and chief executive officer for ESL. "These funds can help alleviate stress and allow students to remain dedicated and focused on their studies so that the education they receive can guide them into their career of choice."

Thirty eligible students selected across six counties will receive awards to help supplement existing state and federal financial aid, such as funding for housing.

"When students live on campus, they have the opportunity to learn in an environment outside of the classroom, as well. They meet more people, they get more relationships and they can be in a living-learning community that supports their success," said Heidi Macpherson, president at SUNY Brockport.

Leaders from the university say most of its students work at least one part-time job. Those most at risk of dropping out are the ones who work more than one job.

"It is hard to focus in class, on writing papers and studying for tests if you’re worried about your next meal or the need to make more money to help support your family," said Damita Davis, chief diversity officer at SUNY Brockport.

Both SUNY Brockport and ESL are feeling hopeful for the next generation of learners with this new Fannie Barrier Williams Scholars (FBWS) program.

"We commend SUNY Brockport and the Brockport Foundation for the creation of this program that will have a profound impact on its recipients," Masood said.

Student eligibility for the Fannie Barrier William Scholars Program includes meeting the following criteria:

  • Be accepted as an incoming freshman student and enrolled in a degree program at SUNY Brockport;
  • Have a High School GPA of 87 or higher;
  • Identified as low income with demonstrated unmet financial need;
  • A resident from Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Ontario, or Wayne counties;
  • Not be receiving a traditional merit/academic scholarship from SUNY Brockport; and
  • A student most at risk of not persisting to graduation, priority given to students of color

Aimed at enrolling high potential students who demonstrate financial need, with an intentional focus on racial equity, the incoming freshman eligible for this program will be from Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Ontario or Wayne counties.