For most students, obtaining a college education is a transformational experience and a lifelong dream. But for many of those same students, paying for that education is increasingly difficult. For these students, scholarships can mean the difference between pursuing a college education and not.
At Colorado State University and the College of Business, generous donors make education possible for thousands of Rams each year through scholarships that pay some or all of a student’s tuition.
Michael Smith, a CSU alumnus and longtime university supporter, is making a difference in the lives of College of Business students with two scholarship funds. Since they were founded in 2016, the scholarships have awarded more than $840,000 to nearly 70 recipients. Each scholarship awards full tuition per academic year and is renewable for three years, for up to eight semesters of financial support.
“Contributions from generous donors like Michael and Iris help us achieve our mission of expanding access to a high-quality business education to students from diverse backgrounds, who will use the skills they learn in the College of Business to create a better world for everyone,” said College of Business Executive Director of Advancement Nick Lobejko.
Freedom to explore options
Melissa Quesada at the College of Business Scholarship Luncheon in 2016.
Melissa Quesada, one of the first recipients of the Michael Smith Elite Business Scholarship, held multiple jobs during high school and promised her parents that she would graduate from college debt free. Before being awarded the Michael Smith Elite Business Scholarship as an incoming first-year student, she planned to pay for her education through small scholarships, loans, and working on and off campus. Four years later, Quesada said the scholarship has given her the freedom to explore academic and co-curricular opportunities she wouldn’t have had without financial assistance.
“Being a Smith Scholar has given me opportunities that I never considered possible,” she said at a scholarship luncheon in the fall of 2019. “As an immigrant, we all work hard to be better and to do better and to move forward, and the number one reason that many incredible students can’t continue school is financially related. Not having the stress of worrying about making a payment in two weeks and being able to be an inspiration to other students, to our families and to our siblings, makes me realize how worth it the hard work has been.”
Discover more about Quesada and the impact of the Michael Smith Elite Business and 50th Anniversary scholarships at https://biz.source.colostate.edu/gift-tuition-donors-helping-business-students-succeed/.