Forbes: Scholarship Program Tops Examples of Good Neighbor Programs

Deborah Dudley

Forbes listed St. Lawrence University’s Augsbury/North Country Scholars program as the top example of a college program that provides students and families in surrounding communities with special admission and financial aid incentives.

In the article titled “Colleges’ ‘Good Neighbor’ Policies Reveal Great Opportunities for Local Students,” Forbes’ higher education writer Willard Dix asked a number of colleagues in the College Admissions Counselors Facebook group to name programs benefiting local residents. St. Lawrence’s Augsbury topped the list.

Initiated in 1974, the program recognizes academic and co-curricular leadership among designated students at 89 New York and 17 Canadian high schools in Ontario and Quebec. Guidance counselors from participating high schools have the opportunity to nominate up to two candidates for the award.

“I am a first-generation college student, and I’m from a family of three children, so affording college for all three of us is pretty impossible for my parents,” says Amber Stickney ’21, from Norwood, New York. “But through Augsbury, I’ve been able to go, not only go to a private school, but to the school of my dreams.”

“Also, at first I thought maybe it was too close to home, being only a half hour away, but St. Lawrence is like its own world,” says Stickney who was introduced to St. Lawrence through two of her teachers at Norwood-Norfolk Central Schools, Rachel Cook ’05 and Jason Hubbard ’02, both St. Lawrence alumni. 

Stickney has taken on a role with the admissions office and feels that being supported by the Augsbury Scholarship “has definitely allowed me to give back to my own community by getting kids from the area a little more excited about what St. Lawrence has to offer…it is a great way for people to explore opportunities that might not be available to them without that financial assistance.”

Augsbury Scholars come from across every county in the North Country. Cheyenne McQuain ’20, was born and raised in Glens Falls. Her father passed away when McQuain was 3, and she was raised by her mother, a registered nurse, and her grandfather who lives nearby. 

“I have always wanted to make her proud,” says McQuain about her mother’s efforts to get her every advantage. “Through high school I did everything I could when it came to clubs and grades. She did everything in return.”

“In my senior year of high school, I had a skiing accident which resulted in a traumatic brain injury and seizures,” she says. 

“After countless doctors telling me I would not be able to graduate, let alone go to college,” says McQuain, “your scholarship and encouragement found me for a reason.” Nominees must maintain a GPA of 90 or higher at the end of six semesters, and through the Augsbury Scholarship, McQuain’s hard work and perseverance paid off. 

McQuain, a psychology and gender and sexuality studies major, is confident in her choice and motivated by the faith the institution has put in her. She has started her own club, is vice president of Spectrum, a club supporting the LGBTQIA community, works on campus for Safety and Security, and is a New York state certified rape crisis counselor. She believes, “I was meant to attend St. Lawrence for the sake of meeting these amazing people; for the sake of learning not about basic knowledge, but diving deep into the details; and for the sake of bleeding Scarlet and Brown.”

Stickney and McQuain are just two of the 106 Augsbury Scholars in the Class of-2021: each with their individual stories, and each part of the North Country tradition at St. Lawrence.

Starting with the high school class graduating in 2019, students selected as Augsbury/North Country Scholars are awarded a merit scholarship worth $32,000 per year for four years ($128,000 total), while nominees who apply and are admitted will receive a scholarship worth $25,000 per year for four years ($100,000 total).

Amber Stickney '21 in Norwood, NY.