Champion scholarship assists students in receiving education
By Alan Van Ormer
If a student attending Dakota State University has at least a 21 composite score on the ACT test and a 3.0 high school grade point average, the student will receive a champion scholarship.
“The scholarship has benefited me because it helps pay for my education,” said Tiffany Hora, who graduated from Freeman Public High School in 2006. “The money received through this scholarship and scholarships in general make it easier for students to finance their education, especially with the economy the way it was in 2009.”
The program started as a way to award academic and leadership skills for high school students. At first, students with at least 24 composite score on the ACT and a 3.0 GPA could receive the $1,000 scholarships for each of the four years at the university.
Then, five years ago, after a financial aid research project was completed, the university changed the scholarship to include those who had a 21 composite score on the ACT, as well as the 3.0 GPA.
Incoming freshman and transfer students can apply in January and receive the scholarship starting in the Fall semester of that year. In addition, the scholarship amounts were given in different increments. Students with an ACT composite score of 21-23 receive $500 each year, students with an ACT composite score of 24-27 receive $1,650 each year, and students with an ACT composite score of 28 or higher receive $2,150 each year.
The scholarship can be used for books, tuition and fees, housing and food services. Most apply the funds toward their balance at the university, said Amy Crissinger, Director of Admissions. “It is a good thing for students because they don’t have to fill out a scholarship application,” she said. “Once we get their application for admission and verify they have met those requirements they will get the scholarship. It is a nice way to reward the students for the work that they have done.”
For Hora, who is majoring in math for information systems with a business administration minor, the scholarship means she will have fewer student loans after graduation. “I would have had to take out a larger loan which might have hindered on my decision to go to school as I am sure it does for a lot of students,” she said. “It also makes it easier to stay in school and to excel in school due to the GPA requirements and credits required.”
It has been a good program for Dakota State University. The university started the program during the time when other universities in the state were doing similar programs.
Crissinger said the scholarship says the university appreciates the students. “It helps them work toward staying successful and being successful here because that scholarship money is automatically there,” she said.