Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) Chancellor Carl A. Stockton recently unveiled a new package of merit-based scholarships for high-achieving Alabama high school students.
The new scholarships — the Outstanding Scholars Award, Principal Scholarship, Vice Principal Scholarship and Counselor Scholarship — will be awarded for four years to high school students who have ACT scores between 27 and 30 or SAT scores between 1280 and 1400. Students also must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average (GPA).
Sameer Pande, associate vice provost for enrollment management and student affairs, said AUM created the four scholarships after seeking feedback from educators and community stakeholders.
“In talking to high school counselors, teachers, vice principals and principals, one of the things we kept hearing is that there are smart and talented students who live in our communities but their finances are limited when looking at attending college,” Pande said.
Pande said the new four-year scholarships are a result of AUM recognizing a need in the community.
“We do listen to our stakeholders very closely,” he said. “This is our way of thanking those educators who work day in and day out with our high school students and who have such a big impact on the community. When talking about access to a college education, we know that academics and financial assistance are two areas that intersect. Just because a student has a high GPA, ACT or SAT score does not mean they have a lot of money.”
“We’re also obviously recognizing that when we talk about community, it includes students who have high academic standards and achievements. We do want them to come to AUM and to reward them for their outstanding academic accomplishments,” he added.
At Auburn University at Montgomery, approximately 92 percent of the first-time freshmen who arrived in Fall 2018 received some form of financial aid. Of those students, 65 percent were recipients of federal Pell Grants — aid awarded to undergraduate students with an exceptional financial need.
Providing high school students, many of whom are likely to be first-generation college students, with access to a college education and a path to graduation is personal for Stockton.
“Everything we do here at Auburn University at Montgomery is about trying to reach first-generation students. I’m a first-generation college student who went to school on Pell grants, student loans and work study” he said. “I was raised by my grandmother and I can recall wearing blue jeans with holes in them, and not because it was a cool thing in those times. The demographics of AUM students are very much like my background.”
Stockton, who recently sent a letter to area high schools announcing the new scholarships, said the new package of scholarships continues AUM’s strong commitment to helping undergraduate students succeed through scholarship-based assistance programs. AUM has awarded $7.8 million in automatic, competitive, and merit-based scholarships to new incoming AUM students.
“We want to help students be successful and graduate any way we can because often times students have the academic ability, but not the financial means,” Stockton said.
New Merit-Based Scholarships at AUM
Outstanding Scholars Award requires a minimum ACT composite score of a 30 (1400 SAT) and a minimum 3.0 high school GPA. This scholarship totals $40,000 over four years. That is $10,000 per academic year ($5,000 per semester).
Principal Scholarship requires a minimum ACT composite score of a 29 (1350 SAT) and a minimum 3.0 high school GPA. This scholarship totals $32,000 over four years. That is $8,000 per academic year ($4,000 per semester).
Vice Principal Scholarship requires a minimum ACT composite score of a 28 (1310 SAT) and a minimum 3.0 high school GPA. This scholarship totals $28,000 over four years. That is $7,000 per academic year ($3,500 per semester).
Counselor Scholarship requires a minimum ACT composite score of a 27 (1280 SAT) and a minimum 3.0 high school GPA. This scholarship totals $24,000 over four years. That is $6,000 per academic year ($3,000 per semester).