New scholarship aims to help students graduate on time with less debt02/22/2017
The University of Akron today announced an innovative scholarship option available to qualifying freshmen who begin classes at UA this fall semester. The Akron Guarantee Scholarship renews each year for students who maintain good academic standing, while automatically increasing in value beyond their traditional award.
The enhanced financial support might be the most eye-catching feature of the Akron Guarantee Scholarship. But the new program aims to improve student retention and graduation rates as well by helping students maintain their scholarship, increasing the likelihood they will remain at the university and earn their degree more quickly.
President Matthew Wilson
The main features of the new scholarship option are as follows:
- Guaranteed annual scholarship renewal for fulltime students who maintain good academic standing (minimum 2.0 GPA)
- Automatic scholarship upgrades as students earn 30, 60 and 90 credits
- Larger total 8-semester scholarship than the traditional option
“I’ve enjoyed visiting with students, parents, school counselors and administrators at more than 70 area high schools during the past eight months,” said UA President Matthew J. Wilson. “When I have talked about this unique and innovative program during those visits, the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.”
Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey had a similar reaction, stating “I applaud the University of Akron for developing a program that focuses on completion and reducing student debt, which complements the efforts of Governor Kasich over the past six years.”
Wilson instituted a similar scholarship program when he served as dean of the university’s law school. “At Akron Law, the protection the guaranteed scholarship offers students who might otherwise face losing their award, along with the additional financial assistance, have made it very popular,” he said.
The new scholarship program is guaranteed for up to eight semesters and rewards students as they progress toward a degree by automatically increasing the amount of the award once they earn 30 credits (a $1,500 increase), 60 credits (an additional $1,000), and 90 credits (another $1,000). Students who receive the Akron Guarantee Scholarship also remain eligible for other endowed and private scholarships. President Wilson emphasized that the choice is optional and if students elect to keep their original scholarship award, they are free to do so.
Eligible incoming freshmen will soon receive an individualized information packet and other communications notifying them of their option to select the Akron Guarantee Scholarship instead of their original scholarship offer. Students have until July 1 to make a decision.