Scholarships Make a Difference for Sophomore Jenna Mason '16
I’ve always wanted to go to college, but despite having the motivation, dedication, and intelligence to attend college, the financial issues became a big hurdle in my pathway to academic success. I’m very grateful for all of the financial aid opportunities offered at Penn State Lehigh Valley. Like my sister always told me, you can go to college even if you don’t have that much money. I finished my first year at Penn State Lehigh Valley with confidence and grew to love the University. I found my passion in my classes, my work, and my club involvement; then came the fall 2013 semester.
My parents and I were struggling with money, and I panicked. Tuition at $6,800 a semester is reasonable, however I just didn’t have the money, so I applied for my first student loans. That is something I didn’t expect to have to do until next year when I transferred to University Park to finish my degree in Broadcast Journalism. I thankfully received a state grant and qualified for summer and fall work-study. Additionally, the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus has its own scholarship that identifies successful and students with need, which I received for a second year. That helped decrease the stress on my parents and me.
As fall semester of sophomore year crept up on me, my parents and I felt hopeless; the tuition balance was still too high. Suddenly, like a sign from heaven, I saw another scholarship show up on my financial aid summary. I received an alumni scholarship that brought down the tuition total just enough for my parents and I to be able to pay the balance.
If it wasn’t for these scholarships, I wouldn’t be attending school this year where I actively write for State of the Valley, am the Director of Communications for Blue and White Society, play volleyball and am a member of the Community Heroes club and Honors Program. Although the payments are still a struggle for my parents and me, we are able to do it. And I can’t forget the handy-dandy weekend job at Wawa that throws in a little extra cash. Hard work pays off, and I will continue to work hard in order to stay in school at Penn State. I hope to receive more scholarships in the future, for they really can be life savers.
Jenna Mason ‘16