WKU to offer more scholarships and in higher amounts

Posted on August 27, 2015 3:16 PM

More students will receive scholarship awards from Western Kentucky University under a new program announced by the University Aug. 26. Under the model, students entering in Fall 2016 will automatically qualify for scholarship awards ranging from $1,500-$8,000 per year depending on grade-point average and ACT scores. The minimum qualifications for an automatic award are a 3.3 GPA and 25 ACT.

“We have been studying our scholarship programs over the past year in an effort to expand access to deserving students,” said Cindy Burnette, director of Student Financial Assistance at WKU. “We have created a base model in which qualifying students can be assured of receiving an award, and we have added awards for special achievement beyond GPA and ACT to provide more aid to more students. We anticipate that more than 500 beginning freshmen in Fall 2016 will receive a larger award than would have under our previous scholarship program, and we project that a large number of students who did not previously qualify for any award at all will now receive WKU scholarships.”

The process will continue to be very simple. The application for admission to WKU also serves as the scholarship application for most scholarships. Based on academic qualifications, students will automatically be matched with a pre-determined scholarship award provided they apply by the Jan. 15 deadline.

Additional awards are available based on participation in prestigious programs such as Kentucky Governor’s Scholars, National Merit and Achievement Semifinalists, Governor’s School for Entrepreneurship, Governor’s School for the Arts, and Rogers Scholars as well as for graduates of the Gatton Academy and the Craft Academy.

“We expect to see hundreds more students receive scholarship awards to WKU,” said Dr. Jace Lux, director of Recruitment and Admissions at WKU. “We are especially pleased that more Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program participants will qualify. We have taken deliberate steps to reward more GSP students by adding a $1,500 bonus award and expanding availability to students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and no minimum ACT requirement. We anticipate at least 120 more GSP students will qualify for an award to attend WKU than in previous years when we required a 3.5 GPA and a 25 ACT. This demonstrates our commitment to the Governor’s Scholars Program and to those students who are among Kentucky’s best and brightest.”

“We are also pleased to offer a targeted award to high achieving minority students,” Burnette said. “We have included a $2,500 supplemental award in our new plan that students may receive in addition to their base award. We anticipate that 300 more minority students will be eligible than before.”

Transfer students will also benefit from changes made to the WKU scholarship program. Beginning Fall 2016, students transferring from any college, university or community and technical college may qualify for an award. Previously only transfers from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System were eligible for a merit award. To be eligible, transfer students must apply for admission by April 1 for Fall or Nov. 1 for Spring.

The largest and most competitive scholarship award at WKU is the Cherry Presidential Scholarship. The selection process for this award will be more rigorous under the new plan. Students with a minimum 3.8 GPA and 31 ACT score may complete a separate application for the Cherry Presidential Scholarship by the Dec. 1 deadline. Students will be selected to interview for these awards.

In addition to the academic merit scholarships, there are numerous scholarships awarded through private funds established by alumni and friends, academic departments or programs through the University, or by community organizations and professional associations.  

“More information will be forthcoming on availability, requirements and how to apply for these awards, which are stacked over and above the base award model,” Burnette said.


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