By Jeffrey G. Mulcock, ’01
Through alumni replenishment grants students are able to complete their education and then return the favor by helping others.
MANY upperclassmen who struggle to pay tuition and other expenses have received help from the Alumni Association through a 10-year-old replenishment grant program. The grants allow recipients to continue their education and support future students by repaying the money after graduation.
“The grant is great because I’m not the only one who will benefit,” says Rachel L. Anderson, ’03, a senior studying elementary education. “I hope to help other students by repaying the grant, even if it’s just a little bit at a time.”
The alumni replenishment grant program was patterned after the Perpetual Emigration Fund. In the 1850s, European converts to the Church of Jesus Christ received financial help to migrate to the Rocky Mountains and were asked to repay the loan to benefit future converts. Likewise, students who receive replenishment grants accept a moral responsibility to repay the grants when possible.
“We don’t have a program to track recipients of the replenishment grants, but we are aware of many who have paid back the scholarship,” says Roy A. Brinkerhoff, ’84, assistant manager of Alumni Activities. “Some students pay in increments, others all at once. One student’s business returned the grant threefold.”
Although there are no legal obligations, each year the Alumni Association is contacted by students who are ready to repay their grants.
Established in 1991, the program was intended to help students finish school quickly by removing financial roadblocks that sometimes slow down students on the road to graduation. The action was in response to an increase of students wanting to attend BYU.
“By helping students graduate even a semester earlier, we help those who are waiting to get into BYU,” Brinkerhoff says. “As more money comes into the program, we help more students get in and out of the university.”
BYU offers two types of grants: the BYU Alumni Association replenishment grants and the BYU Alumni Association regional chapter replenishment grants. Applicants must be enrolled at BYU, earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, and show financial need. Recipients of the regional chapter grants must reside within the alumni chapter boundary. Grants are distributed in amounts up to full tuition. In 2001, 69 chapter replenishment grants and 20 general replenishment grants were awarded.
Don C. Bigler, ’02, a 2000 recipient of the California Ventura/Santa Barbara Chapter replenishment grant, recognizes the effect that each grant will have on the lives of individuals. “I am financing my own education, and the grant came at a critical time,” Bigler says. “I see the grant as a stewardship to get your education and then help someone else down the road.”
Students applying for the replenishment grants must complete a comprehensive scholarship application and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After filling out the comprehensive scholarship form, applicants must apply under the alumni replenishment grant category.
web: The BYU Scholarship application and FAFSA are both available online. For BYU’s application see ar.byu.edu/dept_scholarships/application.html and for FAFSA go to fafsa.ed.gov. You can also order applications by calling the BYU Scholarships Office at 801-378-4104