HAYS, KS -- One of the greatest gifts in life is education, and now it is available through a gift certificate at Fort Hays State University.
FHSU and Commerce Bank have developed a new gift option for family, friends and employers of FHSU students: an e-certificate.
"An educational gift certificate is a unique opportunity for individuals to give the gift of education. Individuals will be able to purchase FHSU e-certificates to be given as gifts for FHSU students," said Tonja Vallin, academic affairs marketing specialist at FHSU.
In the early 1970s students borrowed an average of $2,000 each to cover the entire cost of an education. Today, undergraduate students are leaving school with an average debt of more than $14,000 in federal student loans and credit card debt, said Vallin.
"The e-certificate should also be a good money management tool. By giving an e-certificate, that monetary gift is designated for educational-related expenses," said Angela Dome, Commerce Bank branch manager at FHSU.
When Alumni Director Debra Prideaux presented the e-certificate idea to President Edward H. Hammond and Provost Larry Gould, the idea was approved and Vallin was asked to develop it. She then presented the idea to Tom Thomas, Commerce Bank president, and the idea has become a reality.
"This is a program where everyone wins -- the gift giver, the recipient and the college. All benefit, and we're excited to play a role in making that happen," said Dome.
The e-certificate is designed to allow students receiving the certificate to pay for books and tuition at FHSU. Certificates will be available in denominations of $25, $50 and $100. Because the certificates will be given to individuals, purchases of e-certificates are not tax-deductible.
"This is a fantastic way for Commerce Bank to show our support for the university and its students. We are always looking for opportunities to strengthen our relationship with Fort Hays State University," said Dome.