The Scholarships and Financial Aid Committee is expecting a decrease in formal appeals for scholarship renewal this year because of its decision to change the requirement for renewal from completion of 27 hours per year to 24, a Financial Aid official said.
Michael Scott, director of scholarships and financial aid, said all TCU academic scholarships require a 3.0 GPA at the end of freshman year and a 3.25 GPA for each consecutive year, but what most students seemed to overlook was the 27-hour requirement of past years.
“We want students graduated in a timely fashion,” Scott said. “We don’t want to put up too many roadblocks.”
But the number of hours required isn’t the only change this year. Under previous guidelines, repeated classes and classes taken pass/no credit did not count towards the required hours. Starting this year they will, Scott said.
Efton Park, professor of mathematics and former chair of the Scholarships and Financial Aid Committee, said the changes were implemented because many students don’t need to take 27 hours each year to graduate in four years.
“For most majors, 24 hours is good enough,” Park said.
Scott said there were many appeals in the past because students were unaware of the rules.
The committee, comprised of both faculty and staff members, meets in July and August of every year to review around 300 appeals, Scott said.
Park said some students will have their appeals granted and some students will be granted provisional appeals, but most will not.
Besides looking at GPA, the committee looks at the degree of the extenuating circumstance, Scott said.
“It has to be a significant reason, not just, ‘Well, I took too hard of a class’ or ‘I got too busy,’ Park said.
Scott said the committee reviewed 282 appeals this past summer, and 161 were approved. He said if a student is not granted an appeal, than he or she can make up the hours in summer school to meet the renewal requirements. However, a sub-par GPA can only be made up in summer school at TCU.
Students seem pleased with the changes to the requirements.
Julia Locke Miller, a senior speech-pathology major, said she thinks the changes will be especially helpful for those students with multiple commitments on campus.
Carson Russell, a junior history and radio-TV-film major, agreed with Miller.
“I think it will be easier for more students to maintain their awards that they have already proved they deserve,” Russell said.