Financial Hardships Addressed By Scholarship

The SUNY New Paltz Foundation recently announced that a new $100,000 endowment called “Crossing the Finish Line Fund” was created by alumni Nancy (Hahn) Moore and her husband David Moore to offer financial aid to students in need and help them remain in school after they encounter “unseen financial difficulties.”

According to a SUNY New Paltz press release, Nancy (Hahn) Moore said “as someone who benefited from an excellent education at New Paltz, I am very pleased to be able to help other students ‘cross the finish line.’”

Sally Cross, director of development and alumni relations, said the Moores have been long-time generous supporters of the New Paltz Foundation. She said this endowment was created as a gift, and over the course of three years money will be invested into the fund. This will allow income to be generated off the endowment developing the fund into a permanent flow of resources.

“When a student comes to the financial aid office having had some sort of change in their financial circumstances this is where the financial aid office then has the means to say here is something to get you through,” Cross said.

This endowment was modeled off of an emergency aid fund which the College Council established a few years ago, Cross said. She said the emergency aid fund was not an endowment, however, it raised about $28,000 showing that “the need was very real.”

Cross said the money students would receive is determined by the The Office of Financial Aid. She said if a change in the student’s financial status happens during the semester, the endowment fund would help and the following year they should receive more financial aid in their package based on their economic status.

Latina Khalil, first-year secondary math education major, said she thinks it’s a great fund that will help a lot of students in times of need.

“College is expensive but this education is important so it’s nice to know that there are people who are willing to help you receive that education when times get hard,” Khalil said.

The intention of the fund is to give the students enough money to allow them to graduate, Cross said. The “Crossing the Finish Line Fund” endowment is focused on third- and fourth-year students, yet the foundation offers a lot of scholarships that appeal to different students of different years.

According to the New Paltz press release, the name for the Moore’s endowment fund was inspired by the 2009 publication, “Crossing the Finish Line,” written by William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos & Michael S. McPherson. The book analyzed factors influencing student retention and graduation.

Cross said to keep this fund going, she encourages seniors and graduates to give back as Nancy (Hahn) Moore has because “we are all a part of the same community.”

“I’m excited. I think this is a great thing for New Paltz students. I know from my years here and talking with financial aid this is an ongoing need that the economy has only made worse,” Cross said. “Things happen to people and we don’t want them dropping out because money suddenly becomes a bigger issue.”