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1974 Spotlight – A Fiscal Helping Hand

Attendees at a campuswide Open House get their questions answered in the Financial Aid Office.
Attendees at a campuswide Open House get their questions answered in the Financial Aid Office.

College can be stressful – not just mentally, but financially. Penn College’s Financial Aid Office offers resourceful and beneficial services to students and parents to help alleviate that stress, and the thought of being without such accommodations would make modern-day enrollees cringe. Not 40 years ago, however, financial aid on campus was in its relative infancy. The Oct. 1, 1974, issue of Spotlight, the student newspaper of Williamsport Area Community College, carried a front-page story that a financial aid director and counselor were available in Klump Academic Center to help students meet their college obligations. Many of the services available then remain familiar today: federal and Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency grants, scholarships and work-study opportunities, among them. The latter program employed 85 students at the start of the Fall 1974 semester, working a weekly maximum of 20 hours each and earning $2.10 an hour. In addition, 25 applicants who met the 3.3 GPA eligibility requirement were each awarded a $100 WACC scholarship under a program begun the previous year. Though the services offered have evolved with time – the Penn College Foundation today administers more than 200 scholarship funds, and approximately $88.2 million in financial aid was awarded to more than three-quarters of all Penn College students in 2011-12 – it is safe to say the student body as a whole is grateful for campus Financial Aid professionals.

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