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SNC’s Strong Scholarship Support Crucial to Many Students

It’s no secret that college is expensive. And private colleges often carry a higher price tag than public institutions. But that doesn’t mean a public education is the smarter financial move. St. Norbert offers its students a wealth of scholarships, in addition to benefits such as small class sizes, easy access to professors, quality instruction and collaborative research opportunities.

SNC students past and present – and their parents – have plenty to say about their experiences at St. Norbert, and how scholarship dollars made it all possible.

Jonathan Koby ’21 recalls how nervous he was researching colleges several years ago. “Honestly, it was scary looking at the price tags, no matter where you were going,” he says. The first-generation college student had no idea how he’d pay for a college education, and wondered if it would be worth the cost. After all, his parents were successful without one. But receiving scholarship money from SNC gave him the confidence to enroll. Later, Koby was impressed to learn that a lot of St. Norbert scholarships are funded by alums. “You see these people funding your education because someone funded theirs, and it just brings me hope that I can be in the position to do that for someone one day,” he says. Koby plans to attend dental school after graduation.

Steve and Diana Yonke's daughter, Kim Yonke Achsel ’94, received one of SNC’s prestigious Presidential Scholarships, which allowed her to graduate with little debt. But just as important during her years in college was the school’s strong community vibe. “Every time we came to campus, you felt like family,” the Yonkes say, adding their daughter made lifelong friends here. “She still gets together with her roommates.”

Braxton Thompson ’21 is the first person in his family to go to college, and he’s footing the bill himself. “I’m very appreciative of the scholarship money,” he says. “It helps a lot of students, especially me and my friends, and gives me the ability to come here.” Thompson, who plans to become a Spanish teacher, says he felt at home after just one week on campus. “I love the community, I love the campus, professors care about you, the coordinators in housing care about you. It’s just a very welcoming place. And St. Norbert has allowed me to grow into a more mature and independent individual.”

Taylor Connell ’14 says she wouldn’t trade her years at SNC for anything. She made wonderful friends, experienced personal growth and was prompted to think about how she could help others by the school’s emphasis on communio. Today, Connell works at CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Brown County.

“As a full-time employee at CASA, I’m still connected with St. Norbert College,” she says. “I bring foster youth to campus for tours, and I’m connected to professors and staff members who advocate for youth in the foster care system. St. Norbert has a great reputation in our community, and it’s the dream school for so many kids. And they want to do it, but they need financial help. It’s such a cool moment to see a foster youth’s face light up when they receive their acceptance letter to St. Norbert College.”

Denise Schipke Charlier’s daughter, Abby Charlier ’22, told her in second grade that she wanted to be a teacher. She also said she was going to attend St. Norbert, because all of her favorite teachers had gone there. “When her junior year of high school came around, she only considered St. Norbert,” Denise says. “Getting a scholarship from St. Norbert is helping her fulfill the dream that she has had since second grade.” And yes, Abby’s degree will be in education.

Alicia Roman ’21 wasn’t sure St. Norbert was a wise choice. After all, she hailed from Milwaukee. Would attending college in a small town be a good fit for her? Yep. “SNC made me realize that I actually really needed a small community to be able to grow, and to understand what I wanted to do after college,” she says. “And without those scholarship dollars, I don’t think I would be here, where I am, and have met the people that I have met. I’m so grateful to be here.”

Porter Beilfuss ’22 received an academic scholarship to attend SNC, money he called crucial in order to be able to attend. “I’m grateful every day to be a part of what I believe is truly the friendliest, most welcoming, college community in the country,” he says.

March 19, 2021