Academic-based scholarships help make college more affordable

Alicia Balog

The class of 2017 has something to look forward to this semester. Incoming freshmen have been offered more merit-based scholarships from the university this year than last year.

“This year’s freshman class was the highest GPA we’ve ever had of the incoming class — 3.2-plus GPA for an average,” said Eric Mansfield, executive director of university media relations. “That’s a really smart freshman class and one of the goals of the university is to continue that. And the way you get more smart students is you make college more affordable.”

According to the press release, the university has offered more than $31 million merit scholarships to 6,328 incoming freshman compared to $24 million to 5,766 students last year.

Mansfield said people at the university are aware of the cost of a college education, and an extra $500 or $1,000 merit scholarship can make all the difference in students’ ability to afford a college education and decisions to attend Kent State.

“We think what this money says is ‘We want you at Kent State’,” Mansfield said. “‘You have the grades. You have the background. You have given us the application that tells us you’re somebody we want to have as a Golden Flash for life, so we want to show you upfront that we’re willing to give you more money than possible merit scholarships you can get from other schools.”

Mansfield said the money for the increased amount of scholarships given came from the university’s general fund — not from cutting other scholarships.

To receive these scholarships, perspective students must have submitted their application, high school transcript and ACT or SAT scores by January 15.

Emily Ancona, senior at Firestone High School in Akron, said she received the Trustee scholarship from Kent State based on her academics and her GPA of approximately 3.8.

“I wasn’t expecting it at all, actually,” she said. “I got the letter, and it said that — on the outside of the letter — that ‘A scholarship awaits you.’ And I didn’t realize I was actually going to get it.”

Ancona will be pursing a nutrition and dietetics major in the fall and said the scholarship and the university open up more opportunities for her.

“It makes me feel like my future is really coming into play,” Ancona said. “It feels like I’m really ready for college now because I’ve been accepted, and I’ve already been offered this scholarship.”

Contact Alicia Balog at [email protected].