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Royal Neighbors of America helps families deal with the ‘sticker shock’ of college expenses

Jul 19, 2017
Darcy Smith, Royal Neighbors’ Member Engagement Specialist, is shown with McKara Caldwell, at left, and Grant Redpath, at right, both of whom were awarded scholarships from Royal Neighbors.
(Rock Island, IL) – At the end of 2016, the total outstanding student loan debt was over $1 trillion. Who should pay for college, parents or students? It’s a familiar question but one with a variety of answers.

One solution for eligible members of Royal Neighbors of America is to apply for a traditional or non-traditional scholarship. Royal Neighbors just announced the winners from its 2017 scholarship program.

Twenty-seven members are receiving grants worth over $172,000 to help them with their continuing education. Since the program’s inception, more than $5 million has been awarded to young scholars graduating from high school as well as to non-traditional-aged students who are looking for new experiences and challenges.

Pranjal Kadwe, a graduating senior at Moline High School in Moline, IL, received the Making A Difference Leader Scholarship from Royal Neighbors. This is the top award presented to the most outstanding female high school senior from the pool of qualified Making A Difference applicants. She will receive a four-year, renewable grant up to $20,000 ($5,000 each year) for tuition or educational expenses to pursue a degree at an accredited college or university.

Ten renewable scholarships of $8,000 ($2,000 each year) were awarded to the following Making A Difference Scholarship winners: Michael Ioffe, Portland, OR; Jake Wietfeld, North Bend, NE; Sean Mather, Apple Valley, MN; Hannah Hichborn, Bettendorf, IA; Grace Lundquist, Ankeny, IA; Erica Barnett, Davenport, IA; Ella McMullin, Portland, OR; Lilly Woerner, Elgin, IL; McKara Caldwell, Viola, IL; and Sydney Long, Lincoln, NE. The scholarship winners must use the funds toward tuition or educational expenses at an accredited college or university.

Courtney Young from Parker, CO, received Royal Neighbors’ New Horizons Leader Scholarship. She will receive a renewable grant worth up to $20,000 ($5,000 each year). This scholarship is awarded annually to the most outstanding female from the pool of qualified New Horizons applicants.

Ten non-renewable New Horizons grants of up to $5,000 were awarded to the following: Jasmine Babers, Rock Island, IL; Cassandra McGee, Bettendorf, IA; Valamere Mikler, Opalocka, FL; Kourtney Klette, Edwardsville, IL; Lily Waite, Kansas City, KS; Melissa Hoffman, Fruita, CO; Jennifer Hohol, Weston, WI; Isabelle Ritz, Comstock, NE; Shelby Burroughs, Milan, IL; and Julia Gaas, Richmond, TX. 

The New Horizons Scholarship is awarded annually to help members age 18 and older who have previously graduated from high school pursue a degree at an accredited college or university. The scholarship funds can also be used toward an advanced degree such as a Masters, Ph.D., law school, or medical school. 

Royal Neighbors also offers Life Enrichment Scholarships. These non-renewable grants of up to $500 are offered to members age 18 and older. Life Enrichment Scholarship recipients include: Thomas Kocis, South Connellsville, PA; Grant Redpath, Viola, IL; Hannah Meiners, St. Augustine, FL; Lukas Woerner, Elgin, IL; and Connie Chou, San Francisco, CA.

Since its creation in 1961, the Royal Neighbors of America Scholarship Program has awarded over $5 million to its members to assist with the costs of continuing education. Details about the program are located at You can meet this winners at

About Royal Neighbors

Royal Neighbors of America, one of the nation’s largest women-led life insurers, empowers women to meet the needs of their families with annuities and life insurance products such as whole life, term, simplified issue, and universal life. Royal Neighbors was founded in 1895 and is headquartered in Rock Island, IL, with a branch office in Mesa, AZ. For more information, visit or call (800) 627-4762.

“Member benefits are provided at the discretion of Royal Neighbors of America and are not available in all states. Member benefits are not part of any insurance or annuity contract and are not guaranteed. Insurance and annuity products should not be purchased for eligibility or maintenance of nonguaranteed membership benefits. These products should only be purchased if they meet the financial needs of the applicant.”

Royal Neighbors is licensed in 43 states and the District of Columbia and not all products are available in all states.

PWS ; Rev. 7-2017

Media Contact:
Marie Young, Manager, Communications | (309) 732-8280

Form #:P00233; Rev. 7-2017
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