Lawrence couple’s legacy benefits township

Students can apply for TCNJ scholarships.

By: Lea Kahn
   A handful of Lawrence Township residents who attend The College of New Jersey can look forward to having at least a portion of their college expenses paid for through a newly established scholarship fund.
   The late Helen Banks, who lived on Lawrence Road with her husband, Carl Banks, left $510,000 to the college located in Ewing Township to set up the Carl and Helen Banks Memorial Scholarship Fund, according to TCNJ officials. The couple did not attend TCNJ, but chose the school because of its solid academic reputation, college officials said.
   Ms. Banks was 90 when she died in 2002. Mr. Banks died in 1981 when he was 72, said Sue Long, a public information officer at the state-run college. They had no children.
   "Our understanding is that the scholarship fund was set up as a way to help Lawrence Township students go to college," Ms. Long said. "TCNJ is in the area, and it is a well-respected school. Ms. Banks was familiar with TCNJ and she wanted to help Lawrence Township students."
   The first batch of scholarships, which are to be renewed on an annual basis, have already been given to three Lawrence Township residents who attend TCNJ. The upperclassmen are sharing the $32,000 in scholarship money available this year, Ms. Long said. Their names are unavailable because of privacy issues.
   For 2003-04, tuition and fees are $8,201. Room and board is $7,744. Recipients who do not live on campus would be given money to cover commuting costs, based on a formula, she said.
   In future years, the scholarship fund is expected to pay for two to four students to attend TCNJ — starting in their freshman year, she said. Money in the endowment fund is invested and the interest that is generated is earmarked for the scholarships.
   The money will cover the cost of attending TCNJ for one year, after grants or other scholarships received by the selected students are factored in, she said. The decision to award a Banks scholarship to an eligible student is based on financial need as well as academic achievement.
   TCNJ’s director of student financial services will annually review the Lawrence Township students’ academic achievements and financial needs to determine who receives scholarship money, Ms. Long said.
   If there are more eligible students than there is money available, then a method would be used to determine which students receive the scholarships, Ms. Long said. Those details have not yet been worked out.
   "It is gratifying to us that Ms. Banks chose TCNJ," Ms. Long said. "It is a recognition that even public colleges need help. We certainly hope that part of the reason that we were chosen is because she felt that TCNJ is a good school and students receive a good education."