The Students Federal Credit Union is offering two Penn students $1,000 grants for its first annual Financial Wellness Scholarship.
The scholarship, which is open to any undergraduate student receiving financial aid or with outstanding student loans, is accepting applications through April 30. The application process only requires two questions, which will be reviewed by a committee of the SFCU board members. The organization will continue to offer the scholarship annually.
Chairman of the SFCU Board and College junior Tor Aronson said the scholarship aims to alleviate some of the financial burdens students are struggling with during the pandemic. He added that he hopes the scholarship demonstrates the SFCU's dedication to supporting all members of the Penn community, rather than only its current members.
The SFCU Chief Executive Officer and College and Wharton junior Jake Singer said that he hopes the scholarship helps to raise awareness that the SFCU is available to Penn students as a resource.
The SFCU is one of two student-run federal credit unions in the nation. Unlike other financial institutions, credit unions are owned and controlled by the people who use its services, allowing them to make a difference in their community and support members' interests.
Singer said that the SFCU focuses on providing affordable financial services to the community, teaching financial literacy, and providing high-quality banking services rather than making a profit. He added that the SFCU is far more affordable than competitors, offering lower fees and higher rates for services such as opening a savings account or using an ATM.
The Financial Wellness Scholarship is part of SFCU Cares, a series of initiatives the SFCU launched that focuses on improving financial wellness and promoting financial literacy at Penn.
Since launching in December, SFCU Cares has instituted several new programs to support students, such as setting aside $1 million to donate free credit builders to all Penn students, alumni, and families. The SFCU also partnered with Zogo, an app that teaches users about personal finance in short, interactive modules, incentivizing them with gift cards and checking account bonuses.
In the future, Aronson said the organization plans to continue SFCU Cares and offer more educational opportunities to the Penn community, such as hosting presentations on financial literacy and preceptorials during New Student Orientation.
“Everything we make goes back into serving our members,” Aronson said.
Note: This article previously stated that the deadline to apply to the SFCU Financial Wellness Scholarship was March 31. It has since been extended to April 30.