VP of enrollment development creates scholarship for incoming students

Sarah Hollis

According to Debt.org, 70 percent of college graduates in 2017 left with student loan debt averaging $38,000. To help students from working families afford college and avoid taking on such an unhealthy amount of debt, Lynn (Chick) Blue, vice president for enrollment development at Grand Valley State University, has developed the Blue Working Family Endowed Scholarship. 

“The Blue Working Family Endowed Scholarship is one of 500 donor-funded scholarships available to GVSU students,” said Karen Loth, GVSU vice president for university development, via email. “As an endowed scholarship, it has been established to help students for generations to come. The Blue Working Family Endowed Scholarship will assist students who have graduated from Michigan high schools yet are unable to attend college because of economic reasons. The scholarship will help fill unmet needs for students between the cost of attending Grand Valley and other sources of funds.” 

The scholarship will be available for incoming GVSU freshmen for the fall 2018 semester and will be renewable for four years.

“It’s a scholarship that awards $5,000 a year for four years to students who come from families that are working families but don’t get paid enough to be able to afford college,” Blue said. “We look for people whose EFC (estimated financial cost) would be $12,000 or less.

“Through the admissions and financial aid office, we send a message to any student who’s admitted who meets the criteria and direct them to the myScholarships site on our Grand Valley website, and they fill out an application. Then, there’s a committee of five people who read the applications and make the selections.” 

After working at GVSU for nearly 50 years, Blue was inspired to start this scholarship to show her gratitude for her experiences at GVSU, as well as to continue her legacy of supporting GVSU students. 

“I come from a working family myself, and since I’ve been administering this scholarship for the Thompson Foundation for many years, I’ve come in contact with a lot of students and know how appreciative they are because otherwise they would either have way more loan money than they could healthily have or not be able to go to college at all,” Blue said. “I am nearing my 50th anniversary of working at Grand Valley and wanted to do something for part of my legacy of working here at Grand Valley and serving students. I feel a part of having built it, and I am always so proud of the students that we have here. They’re great students, they perform well, they serve the institution, and they go out there and make the institution proud because they’re great alumni.”

Those interested in learning more can visit GVSU’s myScholarships website at www.gvsu.edu/financialaid/myscholarships-163.htm for more information. 

“We are extremely grateful to Chick Blue for her service to students at Grand Valley and her generous gift, which will carry her legacy of student support far into the future,” Loth said. “Donor-funded scholarships are critical to fulfilling our goal of giving every qualified student the opportunity to access a Grand Valley education.”