During his opening of school address, President Leo M. Lambert announced that over the next few years Elon University will more than quadruple available need-based aid for Study Abroad and Study USA.
During his annual opening of school address to faculty and staff on Aug. 19, 2013, Elon University President Leo M. Lambert announced that Elon is set to significantly bolster its investment in global education.
Beginning next year, $125,000 will be added each year for three years to the existing global study scholarship budget. This will take the institutional scholarship funds available for global study from its current level of $120,000 to $495,000 and will make funds available to Study USA participants for the first time.
This three-year plan will further the Elon Commitment goal to give undergraduate students 100 percent access to a global experience.
“We are proud of the fact that 72 percent of our students have participated in study abroad,” Lambert said. “But the fact remains that the most overwhelming reason the remaining students do not participate in study abroad is related to financial need.”
Financial cost has long been perceived by undergraduate students across the United States as one of the greatest barriers to a global experience. Elon’s move to “level this playing field,” in the words of Lambert, will add yet another competitive edge to the university’s highly ranked study abroad program by increasing opportunities for students across all spectrums of financial need.
Bill Burress, assistant director of international programs, expressed excitement about the doors that will be opened for students and said that in response the GEC is working to develop a new approach to distributing need-based aid.
“Students have always been able to apply for Isabella Cannon need-based scholarships directly from the Elon Study Abroad homepage, and will continue to do so in the future,” Burress said. “However, the GEC is looking to adapt the scholarship application process to better allow students to plan for awards when making global study decisions.
Student feedback regarding President Lambert’s announcement has been overwhelmingly positive. Claire Lockard ‘16 acknowledged that the daunting cost of a global experience initially stifled her aspirations to take advantage of global study as an undergraduate.
“With the cost being so high, I didn’t have much incentive to try and work it in,” Lockard said. “New scholarships or grants would help me believe that studying abroad is actually possible for me.”
According to Burress, the first step for all students looking to apply for need-based financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as all scholarships are need-based at this time.
“Since we’ve only just learned about this we’re still making a plan to move forward,” Burress said, “But we’re very excited about what this means for the future of global study at Elon.”