Shortly after getting married last year, Amber Anderton was preparing for her second year of study as a medical office administrator at College of The Albemarle when she realized she wasn’t going to be able to complete her degree. Her new husband earned too much to allow her to qualify for the Pell Grant which had financed the first year of her Associate’s in Applied Science.
“I lost my financial aid,” Anderton said. “Without it, I would never have been able to afford college myself.”
Fortunately, Anderton was one of 105 students who received a scholarship from COA’s Foundation during the 2013-14 school year. The Foundation’s financial assistance – donations provided by alumni, businesses, clubs and organizations - amounted to nearly $150,000 this year.
These scholarships are critical, said Angie Godfrey-Dawson, COA’s director of scholarships and student aid, because without them these students would have been unable to finance their educations.
“We have a large number of students who – without the scholarship assistance – they would not be able to attend,” Godfrey-Dawson said. “Some qualify for state aid and it’s just not enough to continue. They just don’t have the budget to cover those expenses.”
Anderton received the Alma and Chester Biggs Memorial Scholarship, a grant established by Bruce Biggs in memory of his parents. It was just one of the 146 scholarships the Foundation awarded this year.
Biggs and his wife decided to start the grant years ago, as a way of honoring his parents.
Photo: COA’s Scholarship Lunch brings together scholarship donors and their student recipients. Pictured is donor Mr. Bruce Biggs and COA scholarship recipient Amber Anderton.