Georgetown’s Office of Student Financial Services plans to increase funds for financial aid and scholarships by 14 percent this academic year in response to the number of appeals submitted by current students.

This year’s appeal cycle has yielded 400 appeals for more financial aid, down from 500 appeals last year. According to Dean of Student Financial Services Patricia McWade, the decrease is due to greater fulfillment of financial need in the first round of financial aid requests.

According to McWade, students appealing for more substantial scholarships can expect some relief this year due to the 14 percent increase in spending. The office increased spending for freshman financial aid last year, offering packages to 44 percent of accepted students, which resulted in a greater enrollment rate for the accepted Class of 2014.

All students are welcome to apply for increased aid, McWade said, and Georgetown is sensitive to changing economic and familial needs. Some financial differences such as unemployment, salary reduction or unusual circumstances in the last year must be reflected in the family’s spending and income numbers in order for the appeal to be honored, however.

Although the amount of the endowment allotted for aid packages has remained steady this year, the Office of Student Financial Services is looking to the 1789 Scholarship Imperative to increase the amount of scholarships available, McWade said. The imperative aims to raise $500 million in

scholarship money solely for undergraduates by 2014. According to the project’s website, this would result in 1,789 $25,000 philanthropic scholarships annually. So far in 2010, 692 scholarships have been awarded to students.

Although Georgetown’s endowment has returned to $1 billion this year, the money raised for the initiative will not be available for five years.

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