UI plans to raise scholarships, qualifications for President's Award Program
In order to improve diversity on its three campuses, the University of Illinois plans to increase the amount of scholarship money available for "underrepresented" students as well as the qualifications for those applying for such awards.
From The News-Gazette:
The President's Award Program, which dates back to 1985, was launched by former then-President Stanley Ikenberry with the goal of recruiting, retaining and graduating underrepresented students from Illinois. Initially for minorities, the program was expanded over the years to include students living at or below the federal poverty level or those coming from counties in southern Illinois that send few students to the UI.
It was time the university updated the program in order to increase student quality, increase the number of students who decide to enroll after being offered admission to the university, and increase retention and graduation rates, said Christophe Pierre, the UI's vice president for academic affairs.
Beginning with students entering the UI in fall 2012, those who qualify for the scholarship can receive more money. Students can receive a $5,000 annual merit-based award, up from the $1,000 to $3,000 previously available to students. The UI also plans to launch a pilot program as part of the Presidents' Award Program that specifically targets high-achieving underrepresented students. The 200 students accepted into the pilot program this fall will receive $10,000 per year. The target qualifications for the honors program include an ACT score of at least 27 and ranking in the top 25 percent of the high school class. Pierre described the set of qualifications as targets; they're not set in stone, he said.
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