For some students, the cost of college can be a huge hurdle. Tuition can literally be the deciding factor on whether to attend school or not. But others are learning that if you work hard and keep a good GPA (grade point average) you can earn free money to help with the expense.
Hillary Evans, third year anthropology major, received a scholarship from her high school.
“The gem scholarship,” Evans said. “I had to write two essays and it was $1,000.”
Evans then received the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) scholarship.
“I’m from Colorado and I got a GPA of 3.0 or higher and they awarded it to me,” Evans said.
Evans stated she didn’t have to apply for the WUE, but it helps to make her out-of-state tuition closer to in-state fees.
“It’s at least $1,000 off in-state tuition, so it’s about $4,000 a semester,” Evans said. “I wouldn’t be able to come here if I didn’t have it.”
According to Renee Rehder, the assistant director for scholarships and athletic aid, Boise State disbursed approximately $23 million dollars in scholarships in 2011-2012.
“Scholarships include: non-resident tuition waivers, athletic aid, Boise State scholarships, state of Idaho scholarships (which are) funded by Idaho and outside scholarships (which is) money that comes from an outside entity,” Rehder said.
Rehder explained she doesn’t know exactly how much money goes unawarded each year, but said she would estimate it to be less than 1 percent.
“In some cases, those funds were awarded, but don’t actually disburse because a student didn’t enroll or dropped out midway through the year,” Rehder said. “For example, if a student is offered and accepts a scholarship, then drops out from spring semester, we do not re-award
At that point, according to Rehder, Boise State rolls those funds over to the next academic year to be awarded, while scholarship funds from outside agencies or from the state of Idaho actually get returned to the funding agency when they’re not awarded.
Rehder explained most Boise State scholarships are one year awards which are split between the fall and spring semesters. However, some can be multi-year which require additional criteria to be met.
“We will notify the student of the award criteria they must meet in order to renew their award for their next academic year,” Rehder said.
Multiple scholarships are also available.
“The students that typically get a lot of scholarship support are very involved in their major, clubs, or organizations,” Rehder said. “They also typically apply for several scholarship programs and have a high GPA.”
To apply for Boise State scholarships students should visit the scholarship website and complete the ‘how to apply’ checklist.
“This checklist will give students step-by-step everything they need to do to apply for all types of Boise State scholarships,” Rehder said. “Including scholarship programs outside of Boise State.”
Jasmine Deroy, third year anthropology major, received the Lauren Moore Cunningham Scholarship.
“It was given to me by Boise State and I’m thinking it was for a good GPA, because I have to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA to keep it,” Deroy said.
Deroy stated she didn’t have to apply for any of the scholarships she has received, but has had to keep her GPA up
above a 3.0.
“I (also) got the bookstore fund once for good grades,” Deroy said. “It helped me pay for my classes, it completely covered my semester payments and then I tried to use the rest for either rent or to pay off student loans. So it (the scholarship) really helps with living expenses and paying for books.”
The “bookstore fund” Deroy is referring to comes from bookstore sales. According to Boise State’s Bookstore scholarship page, “the majority of the income from all Bookstore locations goes back to the university in the form of scholarships.”
The bookstore reports contributing about $2 million dollars over the past two fiscal years to the general scholarship fund at Boise State.