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Lawrence Tech helps Ford employees complete their degrees

Release Date: July 15, 2008

Southfield, Mich. – Lawrence Technological University is waiving fees and offering new payment schedules to Ford employees who no longer receive educational assistance from the company.

This spring Ford Motor Company notified employees that it is suspending the tuition assistance program and the salaried dependent scholarship program – a decision that affects 81 students at Lawrence Tech. Some of these students are just a few courses short of completing a master’s degree.

Lawrence Tech has waived all fees for affected students, in many cases immediately reducing a student’s expenses by some $400, and is providing information about several interest-free payment options that allow these students from Ford to defer tuition payments over time.

On July 10, a group of Ford employees attended the first informational meeting at Lawrence Tech to hear about the details. Additional meetings are scheduled for Monday, July 28, and Monday Aug. 18, at 6 p.m. in room M336 of the Buell Management Building on the Southfield campus.

“Completing a college degree remains one of the best investments students can make in preparing for their futures. A degree offers students maximum flexibility to take advantage of new opportunities and helps to quantify their immediate value to potential new employers,” said Lisa Kujawa, assistant provost for enrollment services at Lawrence Tech.

Some students will have to take out loans and seek scholarships in order to complete their degree programs. Mark Martin, director of financial aid at Lawrence Tech, explained the process for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and seeking financing from private, state and federal sources.

“An investment in education will always pay dividends,” Martin said. “This is why we want to do everything we can to facilitate the progress of these students to graduation and ultimately to new careers that sustain them as active wage earners and contributors to our Michigan and national economy.”

Lawrence Tech President Lewis N. Walker notified Ford about the program for Ford employees in a letter to Mark Fields, executive vice president and president of the Americas.

“Lawrence Tech and Ford Motor Company have a strong legacy together, and we need to support each other in this time of change and uncertainty in Michigan,” Walker wrote.

Lawrence Tech was founded in 1932 in Highland Park in a building owned by Ford Motor Company.

Lawrence Technological University,, offers over 80 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes 75 years ago, and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, with education centers in Lansing, Livonia, Clinton Township, Traverse City and Petoskey. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.