Cal U’s freshman loses 10,000 scholarship due to tech glitch
Sarah Seader talks about why she lost her scholarship
Cal U freshman Sarah Seader’s scholarship was withdrawn just days after classes began. The scholarship was awarded in March but was recently canceled. Seader lost his scholarship due to a technical issue with the Washington County Community Foundation.
The donor ruled Seader ineligible after the fact because she had graduated from high school at a cyber school in Pennsylvania. Seader said she was outspoken about attending a cyber school and didn’t understand why her eligibility suddenly changed.
“In March, I asked them what the website requirements were that you have to belong to a certain school district and I asked because even though I live in the school district, I attend PA Cyber and they said I could still apply, ”Seader says.
After Seader received the scholarship in May. She received a letter and it was published in the foundation’s newsletter. Then, in August, the money was sent directly to Cal U. Shortly after class began, on August 23, Seader received an email from the financial aid office stating that the donor was requesting reimbursement.
“It’s crazy because the 10,000 was supposed to be split into 4 years and I would have been fine for the 4 years,” Seader said.
Washington County Community Foundation President Bestie Trew says the pandemic has changed the way scholarships are awarded, and some donors are making exceptions for the cyber school. But others, like this donor, do not.
“Fellowship cycles are always a challenge for our foundation as we receive many more scholarship applications than we can support, and we have to meet the sometimes very specific and detailed criteria set by our donors,” said Trew.
Currently, Seader’s plan is now to reason with the foundation and try to hold onto his scholarship. While she is alternating on campus. In the process, she hopes the students will see her story and hope to stand up for themselves if they find themselves in a similar situation.
“If you think it’s wrong and you know it’s wrong, make sure you have the information and that you protect yourself,” Seader said.