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The New Merit Scholarship
Students rewarded for high quality work.
Last month's announcement of the new Merit Scholarship and change in the Fall 2008 on-campus tuition rates has generated a great deal of interest in the George Wythe College community. This remarkable scholarship provides a reduction of approximately 45% of tuition for any on-campus student who qualifies. To qualify, continuing students must show high quality work each semester. Mentors will keep them posted of their progress during the semester and it is anticipated that any student who is seriously applying himself or herself will qualify.
For new students, we have an even more exciting qualification process. This summer GWC will be hosting it's first New Applicant Selection Retreat. All new on-campus applicants will be invited to the seminar at no cost. For more information about this new development please see the accompanying article in this issue of The Statesman at http://newsletter.gw.edu/a/CampusNews/29.
Following is a re-print of an interview with college CEO, Shanon Brooks that provides more detail about this exciting opportunity available to all on-campus students. More information is also available on the college website at http://www.gw.edu/prospective/finance/merit.php.
The Statesman (TS):Dr. Brooks, please tell us about the changes to the college's tuition rates.
Dr. Shanon Brooks (SB): Certainly. As of February 1, 2008, we have increased tuition for the on-campus undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to $15,000, $17,000 and $19,000 per year, respectively. These rates will apply to students attending the college's on-campus programs beginning with the Fall 2008 semester. The tuition for the college's off-campus programs remains unchanged. George Wythe offers a world-class leadership program and these rates are designed to move closer to the industry standard for the quality we provide.
TS: These new rates represent a significant increase over the cost of on-campus tuition in the past. Is the college doing anything to help students bridge this gap?
SB: Yes. Qualified students will notice only a small increase in their tuition, amounting to about $200 per semester. A new Merit Scholarship offered every semester to on-campus students in the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs will cover $3,505.00, $4,005.00 and $4,505.00 of their tuition costs respectively. This scholarship significantly reduces the financial burden of their on-campus education to $3,995, $4,495 and $4,995 per semester which, again, are only about $200 more than our current tuition rates.
TS: How do students qualify for this new scholarship?
SB: Students new to George Wythe College may apply for the scholarship at the same time they submit their application for admissions. The scholarship will be awarded to applicants with demonstrated excellence in their preparation for college. We assess their preparation using their application materials; which include their personal essay, creative sample, letters of recommendation, transcripts and\or test scores and, especially, their admissions interview. Scholarship applicants who are accepted to the college will also receive a letter of decision regarding the scholarship.
Returning students are eligible for the scholarship based on their performance at George Wythe the previous semester, based on oral examination results, classroom performance and other measures assessed by a student's mentor. That said, we hope everyone will understand that a student who is pushing herself, putting in the time and demonstrating leadership shouldn't have any problem qualifying. On the other hand, a student that allows himself to be distracted or isn't diligently striving to meet his potential wouldn't "merit" such an award. Moreover, students meet regularly with their mentor throughout the semester. They know in advance if they are meeting the standards and have ample opportunity to make necessary improvements before the semester ends and final scores are awarded.
TS: If a student does not qualify for the Merit Scholarship one semester could they be eligible to try for it in the future?
SB: Certainly. The scholarships are awarded on a semester-by-semester basis. If a student's performance in the previous semester did not qualify them for the scholarship they simply enroll at the regular tuition rate. Then, their performance in the current semester would determine their eligibility for the scholarship in the next semester.
TS: Does the college offer any other means of financial aid?
SB: In addition to the options already described on the college website we are working on a number of initiatives to help students with the cost of higher education. We encourage prospective students to apply and discuss their financial options during the application process. Returning students should contact the Registrar's office to discuss these options. Also, a number of the financial aid options offered by the college are only made possible when private funds are donated for that purpose. We welcome these kinds of donations and I encourage anyone interested in doing so to contact myself or Gary Arnell, our Vice President of Administration.
TS: What does the college hope to achieve with these changes?
SB: In the July 2007 edition of The Statesman, Oliver DeMille, President of George Wythe College, announced an initiative to raise the bar academically. These changes are simply the next step in that process.
The world is starving for statesmanship. We see the need in every aspect of our society and in societies around the globe. A world-class leadership education does not come easily and the numbers of mentors we currently have available to prepare students is far fewer than we need. Each of us must pay the price in our studies and efforts to personally improve. We anticipate these policies will ensure that students are sufficiently prepared for and committed to the intense, "Depth Phase" environment of our on-campus programs. Personally I hope every student - new and returning - will qualify for the Merit Scholarship every semester. If a student wants it, we will do everything we can to help them get it.
TS: Where should those with questions go for more information?
SB: The application deadline for the Fall semester is April 18, 2008. We encourage all prospective students to visit the website and review the admissions requirements well in advance and begin preparing now. The website also offers greater detail on the programs offered by the school and the tuition and scholarship policies we've discussed. For answers to any additional questions regarding these policies, prospective students are welcome to contact our Admissions office and returning students will be best served by speaking with their mentor or contacting the Registrar's office.
The following chart summarizes the Fall 2008 tuition changes described by Dr. Brooks:
|Regular Tuition||Merit||Net Tuition|
|Degree Program||Currently||Fall 2008*||Scholarship||w/ Scholarship|
|On-campus BA||$ 3,795.00||$ 7,500.00||$ 3,505.00||$ 3,995.00|
*Tuition rates effective Fall 2008 and each semester thereafter.
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