“Without scholarships, I would not be able to attend school whatsoever,” said Laurel Bengford, a junior at the University of Northern Iowa. “The fact that I am receiving scholarships has helped me to relieve a little stress and know that schooling is a good investment.
“I was totally relieved and thankful when I heard that I would be receiving a scholarship. I had just been thinking and stressing about how much debt I was going to be in after all of my schooling, and wondering how in the world I was going to pay it off.”
Not attending college was never an option for Bengford – it was a rule of her parents that their kids went to college after high school. However, the Arthur, Iowa, native is responsible for paying for her entire college education. The financial investment others have made in her education will allow her to reach her goal of becoming a speech pathologist.
“I chose to major in Communicative Disorders because I love helping others,” Bengford said. “I also saw the opportunity to have options in what the areas and age you work with, so I was excited about that. I originally wanted to be a teacher, but realized I like to work one-on-one with kids more, and have an interest in learning about disabilities.”
At UNI, Bengford is involved with multiple student organizations and community volunteer opportunities. She serves as the vice president of events for the Advocates for Alzheimer's, is a member of the National Student Speech Language & Hearing Association (NSSLHA) and Dance Marathon, and has volunteered with Holmes Junior High, Up with Families, the Special Olympics, and A4A dinners and fundraisers.
“Earning a scholarship this large has really improved my experience at UNI financially, because it has gotten me thinking more and more about all of my loans and ways that I can decrease them. I am currently working on making a budget to make payments on all of my loans while I am in school.”
Bengford hopes to attend graduate school at UNI before pursuing her professional career.
Are you interested in transforming the life of a student at the University of Northern Iowa? Find out how you can make exceptional experiences, like Laurel’s, possible at www.uni-foundation.org.