January 26, 2017
Topic: Human Resources
Kaitlyn Blackburn, a School of Nursing junior, dreams of becoming an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner specializing in pediatric cardiology so that she can "take care of tiny patients with broken hearts."
A scholarship from the U-M Faculty and Staff Scholarship program has helped to take some of the stress out of paying for her education to make that dream come true.
Blackburn says that as a result of the financial support she received in 2016, "I am able to focus on getting the best education possible so that I can be the best nurse that I can be."
Beginning in 1999, unused Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account contributions left in Benefits Office accounts were donated by University Human Resources to create the U-M Faculty and Staff Scholarship Fund. Internal Revenue Service regulations do not allow employers to return the unused funds.
Those funds now provide support for undergraduates at U-M's Ann Arbor campus with financial need, and who have at least one parent who is an Ann Arbor campus or Michigan Medicine faculty or staff member with at least a 50 percent appointment.
Over the past 13 years, 42 undergraduate children of Ann Arbor campus faculty or staff have received financial support through the program. To date, $437,344 has been distributed. Every year, an available amount is distributed equally among eligible applicants.
In 2016, 21 applicants each received $2,000.
Krista Schaefer, a freshman in LSA, is one of them.
"Education is an invaluable possession and I take mine very seriously," she wrote in a letter of thanks. "I hope that my language interests, participation in the LSA Honors Program, and time spent abroad will provide me with the global perspective and critical thinking skills I will need for international work."
Jeannie Moody-Novak, assistant director of scholarship stewardship, says "Scholarships like the U-M Faculty and Staff Scholarship play a key role in attracting a diverse group of promising scholars who are able to pursue their academic and career goals and become the leaders of tomorrow — regardless of economic circumstances."
The U-M Faculty and Staff Scholarship is a great benefit for U-M faculty and staff members and their children enrolled at the Ann Arbor campus, she says, and she would like to see more eligible students apply to take advantage of available funding.
Other programs that provide tuition support or scholarships to U-M faculty, staff and their dependents include:
• U-M Tuition Support Program
• UM-Dearborn Dependent Tuition Scholarship
• UM-Flint Dependent Child Tuition Scholarship Program
• UM-Flint Tuition Benefits for Staff Members