CASHE for students

Every student tackles the problem of paying for tuition. With recent increases in tuition and decreases in Pell Grants, students need all the help they can get. There are only a certain number of part-time jobs available, and some students just don’t have the time. However, many students don’t realize that there is money available through scholarships. As SCOFA chair, one of my duties is running a system called CASHE—College Aid Sources for Higher Education. CASHE is a computerized scholarship service which is open to all current or accepted NIU students. In the past, students have had to spend hours looking through tons of books searching for scholarship information. With CASHE, students just need to complete an application and the computer does the searching for them. Applications can be picked up in the SA office, on the second floor of the Holmes Student Center. All you need is a current NIU I.D. and a check for $1 (no cash will be accepted). After you have returned the completed application, we use the computer to process your information. The system searches for scholarships which you may be eligible for. The results can usually be picked up the next day. You receive a list of the names, addresses, and oftentimes, the telephone number for the scholarships. Your listing could also include the amount of money that the scholarship offers.

With the help of previous SCOFA advisers Maurice Thomas and Jennifer Sarro, CASHE came to NIU last November. Currently, CASHE is running in its first full year and nearly 600 students have used it since November 1992. The CASHE system is just another of the many benefits that the Student Association provides to the students. I encourage everyone to take advantage of it.

As SCOFA adviser, I am the liaison between the Financial Aid Office and the student body. One of the projects I’ve been working on with Jerry Augsburger, director of the Financial Aid Office, is proposing a fee increase for the Student-To-Student Grant Program. NIU has participated in the program since 1986. In the program, a student fee of $3 is collected each semester, which the state then matches dollar-for-dollar. This grant is available to students living at or near poverty level. In the six years that NIU has participated in the program, $1,036,342 has been generated, providing need-based grants to over 1,200 students. The proposed increase of $1.50 would generate about $85,000 in financial aid per year.

As you can see, SCOFA is helping the students here at NIU. Any students with any ideas or problems are encouraged to join the SCOFA committee. My number is 753-9919 at the SA office.