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SALT LAKE CITY -- Officials at the Atlas College Fund believe upper-class families are more able to help provide their children with college funding. People in lower-class families have services like Pell Grants that can help them pay for higher education. But executive director Dale Robbins says families in the lower middle class don't have as many options.
"If you have two students, one from a low-income family and one from a middle-income family, if they go to the same school and do the exact same thing, the irony is that the middle-income student, at graduation, is at a disadvantage because he has got a bunch of debt on him," Robbins says.
Students who qualify for scholarships given by the Atlas College Fund will come from families in the lower middle class. Robbins says these families are not quite poor enough to qualify for other programs.
"It's right at the cut-off to where someone would make too much to not qualify for a Pell Grant," he explains.
This is the first year for the program, and Robbins says the scholarships it provides will be relatively small for a while.
"As a new organization, we're not going to be able to meet that, at this point. Our scholarship is going to be [worth] about $500 to start with," he says.
He admits, that's not a lot compared to other scholarship programs, but for families who need it, he says it can be a real help.
"We're actually planning to give out our first scholarship in the semester commencing this January," he says.
You can log on to the Atlas College Fund website if you're interested in helping the scholarship fund.