WESTFIELD, NJ — The College Men's Club of Westfield, which gives away about $55,000 in scholarship money each year, is accepting applications for its 2016 scholarships until April 22. For the first time this year since its inception in 1922, the club will give away four-year scholarships. The club also will also offer larger scholarships than in the past, with a target scholarship amount over four years of $20,000.

The club, which has been helping Westfield boys achieve their college dreams since 1922, made the change in recognition of the large financial burden that college places on the families of graduating students.

“For almost 100 years, we have provided scholarships that give Westfield boys a jump start on college, defraying a part of their first year expenses,” Club President Shawn Hanna said. “We realized that for the families we want most to help, those for whom college can cause deep financial stress, scholarships that cover all four years of college were sorely needed. We made this change to have a larger and more lasting impact on these families.”

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The generosity of Westfield residents and the success of the club’s fundraising efforts made the boost possible, Hanna said.

“There is something really special about directing your charitable efforts locally,” he added. “You get to see the flesh-and-blood results of your generosity right here on the streets of town — Westfielders helping Westfielders.”

The club welcomes applications from young men from Westfield who expect to attend college in the coming year. Students can apply directly on the College Men’s Club website at www.cmcwestfield.org. The deadline for applications this year is April 22. The club will consider all applications, but will give special consideration to students with demonstrated financial need.

Westfield residents who would like to help are also encouraged to visit the website to donate or to get information about becoming a trustee of the club.