Thirty incoming first-generation students will no longer need to stress about the cost of attending UF.
The Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Foundation has partnered with UF to award 30 scholarships to first-generation students starting this Fall at the university, said Florida Prepaid spokesperson Shannon Colavecchio. The partnership comes as a way to celebrate the foundation’s 30th anniversary.
In its 30 years, the foundation has helped more than 26,000 students attend college, so to celebrate its anniversary, 30 freshmen will benefit from it, Colavecchio said.
The First Generation Scholarship, worth more than $27,000 each, will cost a total of $824,000 for all 30 students over the next four years, she said.
The foundation’s founder, Stanley G. Tate, is a UF alumnus whose goal was to provide families with an affordable way to save for their children’s future. Tate served as the chairman for the Florida Prepaid College Board from 1987 to 2005.
In terms of UF’s partnership with the foundation, Colavecchio said he thinks partnerships, in general, are a way to widen the reach to provide students with the education they desire.
“The more we can come together with other businesses, organizations, and the education foundation, the more we can help our students,” Colavecchio said.
This is the first time UF has partnered with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation to provide scholarships to UF Students, wrote UF spokesperson Steve Orlando in an email.
However, this is not the first time UF has provided for first-generation students.
“The University of Florida is a strong supporter of helping first-generation students,” Orlando said. “UF launched the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars Program 13 years ago for that very purpose.”
The students receiving these scholarships have been selected, but cannot be revealed due to student privacy law, he said. The recipients were selected based on information on their admissions application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
After being selected, the scholarship recipients confirmed their first-generation status and provided documentation showing they live in Florida.
“We are excited to continue this partnership into future years,” Orlando said.
First-generation student Mark Cronenberg, a 23-year-old UF biology sophomore, said he could not help but wish he had this opportunity when he started at UF. However, despite having to pay for college out of pocket, he thinks offering these scholarships will be beneficial.
“I feel like it’s definitely a good thing,” he said. “It might give them more of a reason to end up going to school by having a scholarship — paying for school.”