For the past 15 years, Mildred Faulkner Truman Foundation (MFTF) scholarships have assisted Binghamton University students from Tioga County with the cost of college.

“The Truman Foundation has generously provided scholarship support to Tioga County residents attending Binghamton University since 1998,” said Cynthia Lupo, director of donor relations and stewardship at BU.

The MFTF offers grants to organizations it believes will benefit the Tioga County community in honor of the benefactress, Mildred Faulkner Truman. Truman, who lived in Owego, passed away in 1983, and she requested in her will that her estate be turned into a foundation to offer funding for nonprofit organizations that benefit Owego and Tioga County.

“This aid makes a tremendous difference, allowing students to focus on their coursework or research activities, instead of just making ends meet,” Lupo said.

The MFTF has offered financial assistance to more than 240 students from Tioga County. This year, 16 students were granted a scholarship of the 122 who were eligible.

In 2013, the MFTF offered more than $500,000 in donations. The organization welcomes grant inquiries for various programs, and money is only awarded to nonprofit and tax-exempt institutions.

BU receives $15,000 in grant money from the MFTF each year. The awards range from $500 to $1,000 per student, and the scholarship is offered to students because of their merit achievements and financial need. The scholarship is available University-wide to all students from Tioga County and is not limited to any specific field of study or school.

There is no application process to receive this scholarship. Instead, the BU Financial Aid Services and Student Records Office award MFTF scholarships after a review of the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“I think it is a really important thing that the University offers grants. Even for those who are not in the most needy financial situation, it encourages the recipient and acknowledges their accomplishments,” said Sofia Degtyar, a freshman double-majoring in computer science and studio art.

Last year, 1,800 BU students received a variety of grants, totaling more than $2.5 million. Scholarships are awarded to each recipient’s financial aid package, with the hopes of lowering the current cost of education. Financial aid may also come to students in forms of loans and employment like work study. With submission of the FAFSA, each student is considered for all forms of financial aid and scholarships.