February 24, 2015
With a generous pledge of more than $2.7 million, the Sheila Gold Foundation established a transformative scholarship program at California State University, Northridge. Starting with 30 scholarships this academic year, the new Sheila Gold Foundation Scholarship program will eventually support up to 120 students per year each with $7,000 scholarships. The next deadline to apply for the scholarship is March 4, 2013.The scholarship program is designed to aid middle-income families—those who have too much income to receive federal financial aid but who still struggle to meet the costs of a college education. To receive the scholarship, students must have a family income of between $70,000 and $150,000. Additionally, students must work at least 9.99 hours per week while being fully enrolled in school. Only freshmen can apply for the scholarship, but as long as they continue to meet the academic and employment requirements, the scholarship is renewable for up to four years.
Juliana Tongco, a freshman majoring in health administration, was among the first group of scholarship recipients and experienced the scholarship’s impact firsthand. “Soon after registering for my first classes last summer, I quickly realized that my family was caught in the unhappy medium of being considered too ‘rich’ to receive financial aid, while in reality, too ‘poor’ to pay for college,” said Tongco. Before receiving the scholarship, Tongco was contemplating transferring to a community college for part of her undergraduate work, but thanks to the scholarship she is now able to complete all her courses at CSUN.
Fellow scholarship recipient Matt Dingler plans to attend flight training school and become a pilot after finishing his undergraduate degree at CSUN. “My goal of becoming a pilot is closer than ever,” he said. “I have the opportunity now with the Sheila Gold Foundation Scholarship to graduate college without huge student loans, so any money I can save for the next four years will be used after college to enter a flight training school.”While balancing school and work can be a challenge, the Sheila Gold Scholarship recipients have found that working during their studies makes them more efficient and well-rounded. Nicole Gonzales Gozum, a freshman majoring in environmental and occupational health, works in the CSUN Financial Aid and Scholarship Department.
“Working in the financial aid office while attending my classes before or after my shift has made my day fuller,” Nicole said. “I feel more accomplished, and I feel like I get more work done. I cannot thank the staff enough for the opportunity that they have given me.”