ST. PAUL, Minn. (Nov. 15, 2016) – Jordan, a St. Cloud State University freshman studying to be a forensics psychologist, knew she was $2,000 short in tuition for the current fall semester, and spring semester lay ahead.

Then the call came from her Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union on-campus branch: could she stop by? When she did, Jordan – who became an Affinity Plus member in August 2016 – was “a little confused, skeptical and worried,” said JoAnn Rocheleau, assistant branch manager.

Instead of additional worries, staff shared great news: Jordan was SCSU’s recipient of the Affinity Plus Foundation’s new $3,000 University scholarship.

“She immediately burst into tears,” Rocheleau said. “Jordan was totally in shock and disbelief. She said the scholarship was the answer to her prayers.”

RECIPIENTS
The foundation announced the winners of its inaugural University Scholarships for the 2016-2017 school year in late October and early November. They are:

• Alicia W, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
• Jonathan S, Minnesota State University – Mankato
• Jordan A, St. Cloud State University
• Samuel S, Bemidji State University
• Shelby L, Winona State University
• Tierrah S, Minnesota State University – Moorhead

“Campus branch staff see and hear every day that higher-education students are feeling significant financial pressures,” said Amy Hanson, foundation executive director. “In response, the staff expressed a desire to specifically support these student members as they pursue higher education.”

Campus-branch staff enjoyed surprising student members with their scholarships.
“We celebrate right along with them, and sometimes that includes tears,” Rocheleau said. “We’re proud of their hard work and really believe in them.”


SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
The University Scholarships were a pilot program this year, Hanson said, but have been so well received they will be awarded again in 2017.

The University Scholarships join Affinity Plus Foundation’s current $5,000 annual scholarship program, which are awarded to various student members, including incoming freshman; current students; non-traditional students; and graduate and doctorate-level students.

The foundation also awards community and cultivator grants to assist and support K-12, higher-education and community educators across Minnesota with their financial-literacy efforts and programming.

All scholarship recipients must be Affinity Plus members. Applicants can apply for Affinity Plus membership and then scholarships immediately after membership is approved, Hanson added.

To learn more about the Affinity Plus Foundation, its annual scholarship and grants, and its financial education and advocacy programming, please visit affinityplusfoundation.org.

ABOUT THE AFFINITY PLUS FOUNDATION
Founded in 2000, the Affinity Plus Foundation is a 501(c)(3) serving Minnesota communities. The Foundation administers its own scholarship programs, awards grants to non-profit groups and schools, and supports financial education initiatives through partnerships, presentations and resources. The Foundation operates on funds generated from its annual events; from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union; and from generous donations from community members who believe in and support financial education.