Missouri State University will begin offering automatic GPA-only scholarships to incoming freshmen for the fall 2021 school year.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused some high schools and testing centers to cancel ACT testing, which created barriers for students interested in applying for colleges and scholarships around the United States.
To help high school students in their application process, colleges across the United States have been moving to GPA-only or test-optional scholarships.
Rob Hornberger, associate vice president for enrollment management and services at MSU, said the university noticed students admitting applications with high GPAs but no ACT scores, which was limiting their options for university scholarships.
Hornberger said the university has been in the process of establishing GPA-only scholarships and the pandemic accelerated the project. The funding for these scholarships comes out of the university’s general funds that were already allocated for scholarships. The university does intend to keep these scholarship options available even after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The criteria for the three freshman GPA-only scholarships are as follows, according to the Missouri State website:
- Students who receive the $2,000 academic excellence scholarship are required to have a high school GPA of 3.9 or higher. The scholarship can be renewed up to four years if the student earns 27 credit hours per academic year and maintains a college GPA of at least 3.25.
- Students who receive the $1,500 academic distinction scholarship are required to have a high school GPA between 3.8 and 3.89. The scholarship can be renewed up to four years if the student earns 27 credit hours per academic year and maintains a college GPA of at least 3.25.
- Students who receive the academic achievement scholarship are required to have a high school GPA between 3.7 and 3.79. The scholarship can be renewed for up to four years if the student earns 27 credit hours per academic year and maintains a college GPA of at least 3.25.
MSU made the decision to offer these scholarships in the middle of an admissions cycle in hopes that it will provide financial help to students and increase the university’s yield, Hornberger said.
A university's yield refers to the number of students who are admitted and enroll in classes, according to Hornberger.
“These scholarships help open up access to college,” Hornberger said. “I’m pleased with everyone’s hard work on the project.”
More information regarding GPA-only MSU scholarships can be found on the MSU website.
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