With statewide tuition increases already implemented for this semester and out-of-state students facing additional discretionary increases that will see their tuition costs increase by almost 20 percent, the incentive to obtain a scholarship has rarely been stronger.
Fortunately for out-of-state students, $1.5 million of the revenue raised from the discretionary increase has been allocated to a new National Green & Gold Scholarship program for freshmen. Spending on scholarships for in-state students will increase with an extra $1 million being spent on new scholarships in both the Presidential Scholarship and USF Scholars Award programs.
According to Douglas Hartnagel, associate vice president for Enrollment Planning and Management, the implementation of the National Green & Gold Scholarship program will help out-of-state students hit by the Board of Trustee’s decision to implement the full amount of the state-permitted discretionary increase.
“These scholarships are targeted towards out-of-state students. As you know, the bulk of the tuition increase was for out-of-state students,” Hartnagel said.
Hartnagel said the number of scholarships being offered by the program will increase during the next few years.
“For this term, we’re looking at 115 students to receive the National Green and Gold. For Fall 2003, it will be 194. It will increase by about 5 percent per year over the next three or four years.”
The National Green and Gold Scholarship is a three-tiered program, with the National Green and Gold Plus and the basic scholarship program being awarded on the basis of academic achievement. The third tier of the program is intended to attract students who demonstrate outstanding talent in one of the visual or performing arts.
Resident students have not been ignored either, with 600 new scholarships being offered in both the USF Presidential Scholarships and USF Scholars Award programs.
“Last year we funded $1 million worth of scholarships, this year we’re increasing that by an additional $1 million,” said Hartnagel
A further scholarship program called the Venture Scholars is being developed. The program is aimed at new students coming in that have an academic interest in either the sciences, engineering or allied health subjects.
“We’d like to attract between 10 and 20 new students each year to that particular program,” Hartnagel said. “It will take a while for that program to grow, mainly because those are very competitive students and a lot of universities want those particular students.”
The outlay on scholarships, Hartnagel said, brings important benefits to the university.
“We want to bring in academically highly qualified students and very much like universities have to recruit athletes to be competitive, you have to attract highly qualified academic students in the same way,” said Hartnagel. “Every institution wants good students.”
For Hartnagel, scholarships offer more than financial support to students.
“It’s obviously financial support. But I also think it is a form of recognition,” he said. “You can put this on a resume, and it’s an accomplishment.”
Students interested in pursuing scholarships, said Hartnagel, can find details of all USF scholarships, including those offered by USF Foundation, on the USF Web site.
Contact Chris O’Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.