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Kick off of the Pathways to PSU Scholarship Campaign

August 30, 2011 12:00AM

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Students line up to sign posters at the Pathways to PSU kick off event.

To kick off the Fall 2011 semester at Pittsburg State University, officials have launched a major fundraising campaign that will make college more affordable for students and parents.

On Sunday, August 21, as more than 900 new freshman gathered for the annual freshman photo on the field of Carnie Smith Stadium, university officials announced "Pathways to PSU," a three-year, $12 million scholarship campaign that will provide more scholarships than ever to students in need.

The campaign, PSU's first concentrated effort to raise money solely for scholarships, will focus on increasing the number of endowed scholarships for students. These are private gifts that live in perpetuity, meaning the interest accrued from them will provide students with scholarships for years to come.

"One of our strategic priorities has been to give students better access to higher education," said University Development Director Kathleen Flannery. "We've always had loyal support for our campaigns, and this effort is near and dear to people because often they remember that someone helped them along the way as they were trying to achieve their dreams."

The campaign was formulated when the PSU Foundation raised its goal of student scholarships awarded to $3 million each year. With state support consistently declining and student loan debt on the rise, Flannery said the foundation recognized the need to focus on student scholarships.

"The ideal would be to grant a scholarship to every single student in need," she said.

Kylie Kunshek, a nursing major beginning her freshman year at PSU, said the university appealed to her because she qualified for a handful of scholarships that have made college more affordable.

"There was a part of me that wanted to go away to a larger university," she said. "But this swayed me. It seems like everyone I graduated from high school with got at least one scholarship to attend PSU. It made the decision to go to college here so easy."

For more information on supporting the Pathways to PSU campaign, contact University Development at 620-235-4768 or go to www.pittstate.edu/pathways.

©2011 Pittsburg State University