Scholarships Lift Financial Burden

Jesse Ramsey '09 says he probably would not have attended Susquehanna were it not for the financial aid he received.

He is one of five children, three of whom attended Susquehanna. Sadly, during his sophomore year, his mother lost her battle with cancer.

To combat the financial strain, Ramsey held jobs throughout the school year and during the summer, but he says that the scholarships and financial aid he received lifted some of the burden so he could complete his education in four years.

Ramsey was an academic and student leader during his time at Susquehanna, a Presidential Fellow and a Distinguished Service Scholar. After graduation, he accepted a position at Deloitte Consulting, where he has been employed for seven years.

"The support of financial aid allowed me to experience more, to be exposed to different people and to pursue a quality education," Ramsey says. "My study abroad experience in Central America molded me into who I was becoming at that time, and helped to develop my identity."

A Home Away from Home

Many first-generation college students or students from low-income households found in Susquehanna a valuable place to grow and learn.

Skyra Blanchard '05 struggled with the emotional and financial strain of losing her father, her only present parental figure, before she entered college.

Despite her loss, she credits Susquehanna for making a college education a possibility.

"Without financial aid, being from a large family with no present parent, I would not have been able to attend college without going into extreme debt," Blanchard says. "At Susquehanna, I found a home away from home, and that made all the difference."

Blanchard earned an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Penn State and taught in the State College Area School District for 11 years. She is now an English teacher in the Montgomery County School District where her goal is to "inspire young people  each and every day."

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