Merit Scholarships may soon be
Upperclassmen may soon have the opportunity to apply for merit-based scholarships, according to Executive Senator Erica Lemansky '05."As a member of the Student Union, I am always trying to think of new and innovative programs, events and initiatives to improve Brandeis," Lemansky said. "The upperclassmen merit-based scholarships were discussed last year but no official proposal was written, so this year, I decided to make it one of my projects and do everything I can to see it happen."
Lemansky brought her idea to Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment Jean Eddy.
Eddy said there have been a number of offices interested in scholarships for students who have excelled academically while at Brandeis.
Eddy also said she that students who succeeded academically immediately might not have been the same students who received the most generous financial aid packages upon acceptance.
"The idea behind the scholarships is that prospective Brandeis students are accepted to Brandeis and awarded a high financial package based on their activities and achievements in high school," Lemansky said.
"Although this system is great for recruitment and initial financial aid, it leaves out a significant amount of students who blossom once in college, who strive and succeed in college classes, resulting in high GPAs, and who give their time and energy to clubs and organizations on campus."
Eddy said funding has made giving them scholarships difficult.
But she said that there is a budget within financial aid for scholarships and grants, and that within this budget there are excess funds for students who decide to defer a semester or transfer.
Eddy said she hopes to take the scholarship funds for upperclassmen from these funds that are left over from people who took a semester off or transferred.
"I was quite sure we would have the money this year. However, I'm not as sure of that now because of the small number of students that left this semester," Eddy said.
Several questions still remain about the details of the scholarship. The application process is still tentative, according to Lemansky.
"Though the specific details dealing with the application and selection processes are not yet determined," Lemansky said.
"My vision includes an initial application with a resume and essay stating why the student feels they are deserving of one of these scholarships, a faculty recommendation, an interview and selection by a panel of students, faculty and administration," Lemansky said.
Eddy said she would design some criteria and develop an outreach to sophomores for the scholarship. She also said that in deciding which students are most qualified, the committee would look at the applicant's overall picture, including GPA, activities, community involvement, recommendations from faculty and an essay.
"The number and amount of scholarships available has not yet been determined but will be shortly once the source of funding is secured," Lemansky said.
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