The Gustavian Weekly

Prospective students to compete on Scholarship Days | The Gustavian Weekly

By Zach Van Orsdel Staff Writer | February 24, 2012 | News

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rospective students will come to campus this Saturday and again on March 3, 2012 in numbers larger than ever to compete for this year’s batch of President’s Scholarships.

This Saturday, 221 scholarship finalists will be coming to compete for this prestigious scholarship.

There will be 500-600 extra students on campus both this Saturday and again in March. Over the last few years attendance at these two Scholarship Days has continued to increase, leading to this year’s record number. Interestingly enough the number of applications for the scholarship is down over the same period of time.

“We used to receive many more applications for the scholarship than we do now,” Joy Reese, who coordinates the Scholarship Days, said, “but I think students are being self-selective and our office does a much better job of marketing and explaining the qualifications for the scholarship. We find that if we have more qualified students apply for the scholarship and are clear about the requirements, then it’s a win-win.”

The dollar amount of the scholarship does fluctuate from year to year, but once it has been awarded it stays the same for the awardees’ entire stay at Gustavus. The number of scholarships given out every year has stayed consistent over the years with the determining factors being their GPA, ACT/SAT, extra-curriculars, the essay portion and the interview.

The interview part is where the faculty really gets involved. Each and every finalist is interviewed by a volunteer faculty member for about thirty minutes. At the same time there are student panels, informational sessions and tours. The tours cover all of campus and are student led. On top of all this, two years ago an overnight option was added.

“I find that this has been one of the most successful recruitment strategies that our office has ever implemented. It’s a great way for prospective students to stay overnight, attend classes the Friday before Scholarship Day, meet with professors, coaches and conductors and live the life of a Gustie for a day or two,” Reese said.

This overnight option wouldn’t be available if not for current students accepting the prospective students into their schedules, a contribution that is truly appreciated by not only the staff but the students who stay with them.

Adding to all of this is the fact that more students are completing the process from beginning to end, whereas in the past students may have been named finalists, but never competed. This year however, a record number of students completed the process. This has made it harder to find enough faculty and students to facilitate Scholarship Day as it exists now.

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