Here’S A Novel Way To Help Put A Student Through College

It can cost more than $7,000 per year to send a student to a major private college—a price that is out of reach for many families. That is why two corporate executives and an attorney established Assistance Ltd. The Illinois-based bartering system has helped finance the educations of more than 60 students who otherwise could not afford it.

“We encourage corporations to donate their excess, obsolete, or slow-moving inventory items,” says George Ferris, treasurer of the not-for-profit organization. “Then we contact private liberal arts colleges who can use the items and are willing to grant college scholarships in exchange for them.

“We have helped a number of Christian kids who wanted to attend Christian colleges,” he says. “But Assistance Ltd. is not restricted to Christian schools.”

After companies donate goods and equipment, the items are listed in brochures and mailed to colleges. Interested schools send representatives to examine the goods. If a college accepts any donated items, it agrees to award a scholarship to a needy student in the name of the corporate donor. Most of the scholarships have ranged from $1,000 to $3,000. The bartering approach is believed to be unique among scholarship efforts within the private sector.

A young man whose father had died years earlier received help that enabled him to enroll at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri. His scholarship was made possible by a donation of office furniture from the Monsanto Company. Monsanto provided Assistance Ltd. with $100,000 worth of furniture. Already $80,000 worth has been bartered for scholarships at three colleges. An additional $20,000 in furniture still is available to be bartered.

Ferris and his cofounders at Assistance Ltd.—V. R. Roskam and Gordon Trapp—say businesses are receptive to the idea. W. W. Grainger, Inc., donated motors, pumps, compressors, vacuum machines, and other pieces of maintenance equipment. So far $12,000 worth of the equipment has been split between North Park College and Loyola University, both in Chicago. Some 50 colleges have participated in the bartering system. Ferris says he would like to involve as many as 300 private colleges across the country.

He and his partners help match company donations with colleges. And they often recruit needy students themselves. In at least one case, a thankful student is planning to repay the scholarship he received.

“He’s an All-American in college football,” Ferris says, “and he’s been approached by a professional football team.” He says the athlete told him: “ ‘If I get this contract, I’d like to help Assistance [Ltd.] out—at least to pay back what I was given.’ ”


Dobson Tells Reagan To Focus On The Family

Christian psychologist James Dobson took advantage of a chance to advise President Reagan during a January White House luncheon. At the President’s invitation, Dobson suggested ways the government could better meet the needs of American families.

He said the President should help call the nation back to traditional family values. And he recommended that studies be conducted to determine how government policies affect families.

In addition, Dobson told Reagan that the government could do more to promote adoption as an alternative to abortion. Other advocates of family values attended the luncheon, along with Vice President George Bush and presidential advisers Edwin Meese and James A. Baker.

Dobson later presented detailed suggestions to administration officials. White House aides had been discussing ideas related to family well-being in preparation for Reagan’s reelection campaign. One staff report suggested that families are the most important area of involvement for most Americans.

As a result of such interest on the part of the administration, experts on the family might find they have easier access to the Oval Office between now and the November election.

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