WKU says goodbye to ACT requirements for scholarships, makes $5 million investment in scholarship funds

Published: Sep. 24, 2019 at 12:53 PM CDT
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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.