The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust has awarded Cabrini College a $79,000 grant to support the W.W. Smith Scholars program for the 2005-2006 academic school year. This money is given to full-time undergraduate students who are financial aid eligible. Cabrini has been receiving funds from the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust for 26 years that total over $861,000.
To apply for the grant money, Cabrini must first be invited and then write a grant proposal that says the college meets the requirements of the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust. According to Jean Jacobson, the director of corporate, foundation, and government relations, the applications to the Scholars program are by invitation only to selected Philadelphia area colleges.
As stated by the Trust’s website, the guidelines for the grant are that it is to be given to “full-time undergraduate students at accredited colleges and universities in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Scholarships are to supplement existing levels of aid for lower income and middle income students who could not otherwise attend college or support a college education.”
Jacobson writes the grant application to the Trust each year requesting the funds. She describes the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust as a “very generous foundation that has made a huge difference to the Cabrini College community. The Trust has been an important partner in the growth of Cabrini College, and its generous support has opened doors to the college for many students.”
She said that the college has a long-standing relationship with the Trust and has seen the funding “grow for us because of the growth of the college. Over the years, 516 Cabrini students have benefited from the W.W Smith Scholars program.”
The grant application also details how the money will be used at the college, how it will benefit the students and establishes that the college has a need for this additional funding.
Once the college receives the money, it is handed over to financial aid to be distributed. The Trust itself doesn’t have very many restrictions for who the money is given to. Mike Colahan, the director of financial aid, “likes the fact that W.W. Smith hasn’t put a lot of strings on it,” so he has some flexibility with who he can give the money to. Colahan does, however, require a 2.0 grade point average for a student to be considered for the funds, and the Trust asks that the students be from the Philadelphia area.
Private funding, like the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust, is distributed to financial aid students after all the government money and academic scholarships are applied and they still qualify for more money. Colahan said that it is “subjective decision making,” and there is no favoritism in deciding who gets the funds. It is simply based on need.
Students are required to write thank you notes to the Trust, and no student is allowed to have the funding for more than three years. Also, a representative from the Trust visits the college every two years to meet with the students who have received their funding.
Paula Gaughan, the coordinator of donor relations and stewardship, said that Cabrini College has a “very good relationship” with the Trust, and so the funding amount keeps going up. Last year the college received $79,000 that provided funding for 38 students.
The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust was created in the will of William Wikoff Smith and contributes money, in addition to the college scholarship program, to medical research and grants for food, clothing and shelter for nonprofits located in local counties.
As indicated on the Trust’s website, they have awarded, as of September 2005, $1,033,000 to cancer research, $516,000 to AIDS research, and $728,000 to area nonprofits, including the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey and the Child Abuse Prevention Effort.
Also, over $2.5 million is given annually to 29 universities and colleges in the Delaware Valley for the scholarship program.
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Posted to the web by Shane Evans