Now a freshman at the University of San Francisco, Fallon Bottone ’13 has settled into the renowned city, toured the steep streets, and walked the Golden Gate Bridge all while continuing her education. For Bottone, these experiences would be unimaginable without the help of Staples Tuition Grants (STG) making her dreams of college reality.
STG is an organization that provides financial assistance to Staples students who have enrolled in postsecondary education and need financial aid. Since 1943, STG has worked towards ensuring that no Staples High School graduate is deprived of a college education due to tough financial situations.
Last year, STG became the largest distributor of college tuition grant dollars in Westport. According to STG Student Committee Chair Karen Hess, STG awarded $317,000 to 122 students, with grants ranging from $1000 to $6,000, allowing an average grant per recipient of $2,598.
“We live in a community where the expectation is that all students should have the opportunity to go to college,” Hess said. “For many in our community, the activity often revolves only around which schools will accept them, but for some of their peers, financial realities make those dreams much more challenging.”
According to Bottone ’13, applying for a grant is easy: “Simply fill out the application on the staplestuitiongrants.org website regarding your school information, your family’s financial aid information, and the financial information regarding the school you plan to attend the following year,” she said.
Students are chosen solely based on their financial situation and must reapply for a tuition grant each year of undergraduate school.
The funding for the grants is donated by families, businesses, and other organizations in the Westport community; many individuals donate to STG to maintain their connection to the Staples community.
Specifically, Audrey Reedy ’13 received a donation from the Democratic Women of Westport, who she was able to meet with to thank for their generous contribution towards her education. “It was a great experience getting to know different members of the community and learning from some influential and incredible women,” Reedy said.
STG has given many former Staples students the opportunity to succeed and all students who have received grants are grateful of the support.
“I would not have been able to attend college if it weren’t for the grant,” said Audrey Reedy ’13. “STG has impacted me in a really positive way and allowed me to pursue my education.”