Whenever students apply to Shippensburg University, many are offered the Raider Success Scholarship as a means of decreasing the cost of their tuition and to encourage them to choose SU over all other schools. Its purpose is additionally to reward students who are high academic performers. That Raider Success Scholarship funded through the university was previously provided to students with a 1150 SAT and 3.5 GPA or higher to the amount of $2,000 for up to four years.
This whole deal has been changed a few weeks ago for the incoming class of 2024. According to William Washabaugh, the associate director of undergraduate admissions, the plan is for “high-achieving freshman and transfer students.” The scholarship would guarantee $1,000 for incoming students with a 3.25 grade point average (GPA) and 1,000 SAT or higher, $2,000 for students with a 3.25 GPA and 1,100 SAT, $3,000 for students with a 3.5 GPA and 1,200 SAT, and $4,000 for students with a 3.75 GPA and 1,300 SAT.
The new design is only for the current period, and the intent behind the plan is to increase enrollment at the university, particularly those of higher academic standing, according to Donta Truss, senior vice president of enrollment management, student affairs and student success.
According to Truss, the policy was implemented with the intent of building the next class and getting “more of our top-tier students confirmed.” He said that previously, only a small number of high-academic standing students confirmed and so the new plan hopefully will provide more incentive for those students to choose SU.
However, for incoming students this change from the previous plan is only in effect during this year and will revert back to the original plan at the end of this current period. The plan is a good stepping stone in the right direction, and I applaud the change. However, I find it a shame that this was not implemented earlier for current students who easily would have earned a higher scholarship amount if they had only come here a few years later. According to Truss, the thought of rolling back the plan to former students was never discussed.
I think that SU should implement this tiered system going forward, and it should be retroactively applied to current students. With one of the top priorities for the university being increasing enrollment and even more importantly, retaining students, I can only imagine the impact that a retroactive implementation of this policy would bring. Although funding for this scholarship would have to increase, it is one sure way to promote retention, enrollment, provide scholarship opportunities to more students, and more importantly, more equitably reward students for high academic achievement.
With Truss and the administration making it clear that this change is only temporary and is only for incoming students, a foundational stepping stone is in place. However, it is my belief that this policy should be extended for future years and that the model should be retroactively placed on students who currently are receiving the scholarship. What do you think?