WKU says goodbye to ACT requirements for scholarships, makes $5 million investment in scholarship funds
Changes are coming to the way Western Kentucky University will award scholarships to incoming students.
Beginning fall 2020 WKU will no longer use ACT scores to award most academic merit-based scholarships for incoming freshmen. Instead, WKU will look at a student's unweighted GPA to determine their eligibility for scholarships.
WKU President Timothy Caboni told 13 News the university is lowering the GPA requirement to be eligible for the scholarships from a 3.3 to a 3.0, and the university is also increasing the minimum scholarship from $1,500 to $2,500.
"We are committed to being an institution of access and opportunity," Caboni said. "Our retention analysis and national research show that GPA is the best indicator of a student's likelihood of success. We want a scholarship program that rewards students for their academic work over four years, not just their performance on a single day. One number should not define your ability to go to college or to be able to afford a WKU experience."
In addition to this change, WKU is also making an additional $5.2 million in scholarship funding available.
Officials said about 39 percent of students received some sort of scholarship for the 2019-20 year, but with these changes, they estimate 80 percent of incoming freshmen will be eligible for some type of scholarship.
A second change coming to WKU is to the Cornelius A. Martin Scholarship. If you are a minority student with a 3.0 GPA or higher you will also be eligible for an additional $3,000 in scholarships. If you are a minority with a 2.5-2.9 GPA you will be eligible for an additional $2,500 in scholarships.
Caboni said the hope is these changes will make WKU an affordable option and attract more students.
The ACT score will still be used to determine a student's admission index score, which is used to determine is a student is accepted to attend WKU.
Currently, the net cost to attend WKU for one year is around $11,000.