Fort Hays State University offers Access to Academic Opportunity Grant

Fort Hays State University is making its "affordable success" affordable to even more students.

Twenty incoming freshman and transfer students at FHSU will receive an Access to Academic Opportunity Grant worth up to $4,000 to pay for tuition, fees, books and living expenses, beginning with the fall 2006 semester.

FHSU created and is funding the grants to provide deserving students, who may not be able to afford a quality education otherwise, an opportunity to achieve their potential in both academics and leadership.

"The Hispanic population here is growing rapidly, and we need to do everything we can to ensure those students have an opportunity to attend FHSU," said Dr. Herb Songer, vice president for student affairs.

The university already offers a scholarship for urban area students, but "part of our mission is to serve the citizens of western Kansas," Songer said.

By offering the grants, FHSU also hopes to increase diversity among the student body.

"We will look at the student's ability to reach his or her full potential without the award, the contributions the student could make to the campus community, whether the student is the first generation in his or her family to receive a post-secondary education and several other factors as well," said Tricia Cline, director of admissions.

The selection committee will also consider aspects such as prior academic achievement, leadership and academic potential and personal background.

"We want to make sure the students succeed when they come to Fort Hays," said Songer.

To that end, students will be paired with a faculty mentor to help them achieve their educational and personal goals.

"We think this is an exciting new tool to try to attract new students," said Songer. "We're excited about being able to offer it to new, incoming students."

The application process is open to incoming freshmen, transfer students and nontraditional students, regardless of age. Applicants are required, if eligible, to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

"The award amount could depend on the student's financial aid package," said Songer. "We don't want to over-award, but if a student qualifies for a fairly normal financial aid package, an additional $2,000 each semester would pay for the difference. We want to keep their out-of-pocket cost to attend Fort Hays as low as possible."

The award is automatically renewable for an additional three years for freshmen and one year for transfer students as long as the recipient maintains a 2.5 cumulative GPA at FHSU.

The priority deadline is Thursday, Dec. 15. Requests for application forms received after that date will be honored as quantity allows.

For information, contact Yvette Moritz, minority recruiter, at (785) 628-4503 or 1-800-628-FHSU.

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Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
(785) 628-4206   |   Fax (785) 628-4152
Kent Steward, Director   |  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |