Seniors unveil new aid

  Class Council has decided on the 2012 senior gift, a need-based scholarship for a non-first-year student.   The 2012 scholarship is for students who wouldn’t be able to return to the University without financial assistance, class gift committee member Elizabeth Pacy said.   Assistant Director of Annual Giving Stacy Fender, who has been involved in planning the scholarship, says it would cover the difference between what a student should be able to receive from financial aid and what he or she did receive.   A cap of $2,500 per student meant for 1-2 students a year was suggested in order to preserve the fund for coming years, she said.    “Student Financial Services (SFS) is only going to offer this opportunity to certain students they know are going to fit,” Fender said. “It is not going to reduce their financial aid somewhere else and really is going to help them get past that hump and stay at UVM and graduate.”   There are questions that still need to be worked out regarding the scholarship selection process and if it will continue for years to come, Fender said.   Fender – who is employed by the UVM Fund – has been a part of the class council’s process from the beginning and has recently been involved in figuring out the logistics of giving a scholarship, class gift committee member Kaila Thibault said.   In the past Class Council has come up with class gift ideas and sent them out to the entire senior class to vote — this year they tried something different, Thibault said.   “We chose representatives from 40 influential clubs on campus and personally invited them to a meeting to brainstorm ideas,” she said.   The 2012 Scholarship was an idea that Class Council initially came up with, Thibault said.   “This year our goal was to choose a gift that improves the University in a practical way and makes a difference for students in years to come,” she said. “This selection process was successful and we felt it gave a wider variety of students a direct involvement in choosing their class gift.”   Senior Brian Hamel said he voted for the scholarship because he though it was the best way to give back to the campus.   “There is no way I can afford paying over $45,000 a year for an education and I know I am not the only one in the boat by a long shot,” he said. “The scholarship that Class Council is trying to design is aimed at giving students that were turned away from UVM Financial Services a second shot at pursuing their dreams and ambitions.”   Previous class gifts have included the Catamount Statue, additional outlets in the library, a glass sculpture and the clock in the Davis Center.