Today’s post comes from guest author Randy Dufault … Randy is a former president of COMMON and is currently leading the COMMON certification team and member of the COMMON Education Foundation Board.

I went to college in a completely different era (read: I’m an old guy). I attended a state school as a resident and I actually recall hardly believing how low my first tuition bill was. I also recall, in comparison, the ridiculously high price I paid for the accompanying, required books.

Oh how things have changed.

Today’s tuition bill for a single year at some schools rivals what I paid for my first home. That same bill at an economical state institution is more than what I’ve paid for brand new automobiles. And then there are the books.

More than ever it is important to explore any and all forms of assistance for paying those bills. You probably know a student—a niece or nephew, a coworker’s child, a neighbor, a sibling, or even your own child, and as a member of COMMON, you have a tremendous opportunity to provide some help. In the big scheme of things it’s not a great deal of help, but every little bit matters and often, matters a lot.

Each year the COMMON Education Foundation offers several tuition reimbursement scholarships, both to full and part time students that are enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education (two- or four-year college, or graduate degree program). Currently the value of each scholarship is US$500 and with a very little effort on your part, you may well make a difference in a student’s future.

All that is required is to instruct the student to fill out the form located on the Foundation web page, have them include all the required documentation, have you sign the form and send it off. It is incredibly simple. The application deadline is May 20, 2011 so don’t procrastinate.

Students today are our industry and government leaders of tomorrow. Find a one today and do your part to ensure a bright future for our world.