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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA increases enforcement of scholarship’s GPA requirement

Kimberly Cain
Kimberly Cain / The Daily Wildcat Dana Pattison (left), creative writing sophomore, and Maya Heilman-hall (right), photography sophomore, work on french homework outside the UA library on Monday.

Students in a scholarship program at the UA may see more enforcement of GPA requirements from administration this semester.

The Arizona Assurance Scholarship, created by former president Robert Shelton in 2008, provides funding to low-income students from Arizona so they can attend the UA. There are roughly 1,800 students currently enrolled who have received the scholarship.

Michelle McKelvey, assistant director of Academic Success and Achievement, said that potential recipients are high school seniors who have earned a 3.0 in their first three years of high school and have been admitted to the UA.

Once the scholarship is obtained, scholars receive funding to cover their tuition, mandatory fees, the cost of books and their first-year housing expenses. However, they must fulfill certain requirements to maintain funding. McKelvey said this includes completing 24 credits a year and maintaining a 2.0 GPA.

McKelvey, who took over the program in April 2013, said that the GPA requirements for the scholarship were not strictly enforced in the past. She said this oversight could be attributed to a few things.

“It was a new program and there was a potential lack of resources,” McKelvey said.
McKelvey said that the GPAs of scholars are checked yearly, but at times they weren’t being followed up on if they didn’t meet the requirement. McKelvey added that it is important for the requirements of the scholarship to be enforced.

“It holds the students accountable,” McKelvey said.

Despite oversights, Alex Barré, third- and fourth-year scholars coordinator, said that students still lose funding every year by not fulfilling these requirements. In these cases, there is an appeals process for students who lose funding. Both Barré and McKelvey sit on the appeals committee.

“[Students] submit an appeal that explains what particular requirement caused them to lose funding,” Barré said. “The appeals committee reviews that and then we’ll decide if somebody will be reinstated or if the initial decision will stand.”

Derwin Begay, first- and second-year scholars coordinator, said that since McKelvey has taken over he has seen more enforcement of the GPA requirements.

Begay works with freshmen and sophomores to meet the scholarship requirements. He says that in addition to this, ASA tries to help students and create a smooth transition for them from high school to college. Students are required to take certain courses and workshops to ensure their success.

“It’s a wonderful program for those students who participate,” Begay said. “Hopefully they can maintain the requirements, do well and stay on track.”

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