If knowledge had a gate, it was about to be shut for Isabel Mauriello.
The Manhattanville College junior and Morris Park resident was $12,000 short of meeting her tuition bill for the upcoming academic year. She could not get a loan from a private bank because she didn’t have a co-signer with the credit now required at lending institutions.
Exhausted and frustrated, she was concerned she would have to attend a different college. Manhattanville had been her home away from home for the past two years. A Studio Art major, minoring in music education, she was stuck with a daunting financing dilemma.
“I applied for and received federal student aid all three years, but the first two years I was also able to get a private loan from a bank, something that was not possible this year,” Mauriello said. “I had been able to cover the full cost of tuition between the federal aid and private loan.”
In addition, a grant that she was receiving through the school’s financial aid office was only valid for her first two years at Manhattanville. With her applications for private loans being denied because of the tough new lending standards, she turned to Senator Jeff Klein’s office for help.
“Several banks had sent me letters saying that the reason I could not get a loan was that I didn’t have a cosigner with good enough credit,” Mauriello said. “I had exhausted all other options, so I didn’t have anything to lose by reaching out to Senator Klein.”
Klein’s staff contacted Manhattanville College’s financial aid office to determine what they could do to help cover the remaining costs.
Within a few days, Klein’s office was able to arrange the needed funding for her junior year based on her grade point average and financial need.
According to Mauriello, she was eligible for a $7,000 scholarship and $5,000 in additional student loans that she hadn’t realized she qualified for when she first applied.
“Going to a different college would have been very disruptive because I was already used to Manhattanville,” Mauriello said.
Originally enrolling in Manhattanville as a Psychology major, she switched to Studio Art, where her passions include watercolor painting and photography. Her new major keeps up a family tradition. Both her mother and her grandmother are excellent, accomplished visual artists.
Mauriello’s current goals are to enroll in Manhattanville’s teacher-training program, if possible, and ultimately become a New York City public school teacher.
“A solid education,” Klein said, “is the backbone to a bright and successful future.”
©2010 Community News Group