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Local non-profit gains insight from SCORE to offer students interest free loans

Sam Manning

Staff Writer 

Classes, work, homework, group projects, and a commute? Students at Millersville University have more things going on in their daily lives than before. But what’s the biggest stressor? Finding the money to pay for your education.

When a student is balancing a full course load, a job, and a social life, they do not have time to go online and compare interest rates from different banks and credit unions. Yet, this is one of the most impactful decisions students must make that will alter their finances for decades after college. Luckily for local MU students, a local non-profit is offering students interest free loans.

International Education Week

Lancaster Dollars for Higher Learning is the flagship organization in the county for offering students a way to pay their tuition without the lingering shadow of rising interest rates. The organization has been established and helping students in the area since 1961. Through the organization, Lancaster County high school graduates can receive up to $1,700 dollars each semester. Any resident of Lancaster County can fill out an application on their website.

The group recognizes the socio-economic power of a college degree, and believes that increasing the number of college graduates will only help move Lancaster County into a positive direction. Lancaster Dollars wants to give students a hand up, not a hand out. The organization has already helped over 10,000 local students, handing out over $17 million in interest-free loans.

At the beginning of November, Lancaster Dollars for Higher Learning and the SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon Chapter teamed up to increase the visibility of the organization. With help from Joann Davis-Brayman, retired V.P of Global Marketing at Armstrong World Industries, Lancaster Dollars received valuable analyses on brand recognition online and in the communities.

“We have taken their advice and worked to expand our social media presence. We are being more strategic about our posts and have seen an increase in views and fundraising dollars.” said Christie Livengood, Executive Director of Lancaster Dollars for Higher Learning (via lancaster.score.org).

SCORE has chapters across the nation, but the local Chapter is packed with retired executives with decades of experience working with a myriad of businesses. From big to small, from agricultural to financial, SCORE mentors use all of the things learned during their career to help others start, work on, or finish their dreams of being a successful business owner. The Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, located in the Adams House, has more information for students interested in finding a SCORE mentor.