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Penn State DuBois Launches Program to Help Pay Tuition

6/24/2008 —

DuBois – The Penn State DuBois Rebate Program will help students pay tuition costs beginning this fall.  According to the program coordinator, all students and their families have to do to participate is buy things they already need.

Rebate Program Coordinator, Lisa LaBue said the program is simple.  Penn State DuBois buys gift certificates from local and national businesses; students or their families buy the certificates to use for purchases at those businesses; a percentage of the money spent on the gift certificate is then placed in an account in the students name; at the end of the semester, all funds in the account are paid on the tuition bill.  

“You purchase and spend a $100 gift certificate, you get five dollars towards tuition,” LaBue said, offering an example, but noted that the value of certificates will vary.   She said the certificates offered can often be used for practical items that families will spend money on anyway.  “I’m going to go for groceries anyway, and I’m going to spend $100, so I might as well buy gift certificates from the Rebate Program and get some money in my account.”

The program has been well received by many students and their parents.  Joshua Fryer, of Clarion will attend Penn State DuBois as a freshman this fall.  He and his mother, Trudy, recently met with LaBue to talk about the rebate Program. 

“It will be great, I like the idea,” Trudy Fryer said. “I can see us using things like gas cards and certificates for groceries.”

However, the variety of businesses offering certificates will go well beyond just those gas stations and grocery stores according to LaBue.  She says certificates will be available for restaurants, drug stores, hotels, airlines and more.  She notes businesses benefit from the program because it draws customer attention. 

The Penn State DuBois Rebate Program is sponsored by the DuBois Educational Foundation (DEF), a non-profit entity, organized for the purpose of supporting, promoting and fostering education and of furthering the advancement of learning in arts, sciences and occupations at the DuBois Campus of the University.  The DEF also serves as the Advisory Board to the campus.   LaBue says similar programs have been implemented at private K through 12 schools in our area and across the country, but the colligate level is new territory for such a plan.  “We’re taking it to the next level,” she said.     

Chancellor Anita McDonald said pioneering a university-level version of this rebate offer is part of a continuing effort between the campus and the DEF to help students cope with the rising costs of higher education.  She said, “It’s certainly not common in other higher education institutions, we’re stepping outside of the box during these financially challenging times to help our students and their families.”

According to LaBue, even future Penn State DuBois students and their families can participate in the program years before they head to college.  An account can be established in their name at any time, and rebate points can be stored to use towards their tuition when the time comes to enroll.  

For more information, contact Lisa LaBue at 375-4805 or lal27@psu.edu

Visit the Penn State DuBois Rebate Program home page at http://dubois.psu.edu/rebate.

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