Sarah Zmeirski“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” George Washington Carver

In its most recent survey of college pricing, the College Board reports that a “moderate” college budget for an in-state public college for the 2013–2014 academic year averaged $22,826. And because that expense is sure to rise, aspiring students in 2015 will need all the help they can get. Fortunately for children of active duty or retired Sailors and Marines, educational assistance may be available from the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, thanks to the generosity of donors like you.

Tuition is only one part of the cost of going to college. Michael Mendez used his GI Bill benefits to help fund his daughter’s education but knew that wouldn’t be enough. Mendez applied and received an interest-free loan from the Society to help pay for Kayla, a freshman majoring in business, to live on campus. “She attends a GI Bill-friendly school, which means they will reduce their tuition to match my GI Bill funding,” he explained. “The Society’s financial assistance is so great because it can be used for any college expense, not just tuition.”

Sarah (pictured above) and Kayla Zmierski, daughters of a Navy retiree, both received no-interest loans from the Society. Sarah will earn her bachelor’s degree in dietetics in May 2015. “The Society’s financial support allowed me to take summer classes and get ahead on credits so I could graduate in 3 years,” she explained. Sarah also received a scholarship from her university that covered some costs. “It’s meant a lot of penny pinching, but having a little extra financial security made it more feasible for me to focus on my studies instead of having to work through college. With the Society’s interest-free loan I was able to really focus on what matters and become a force for good in the real world when I finally get there.”

Her sister Kayla is studying accounting. She also received an academic scholarship that covers tuition, and the Society’s no-interest loan has helped her pay for other college expenses like room, board and text books.

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