WKU launching new summer scholarship initiative

Natalie Hayden

WKU is starting a new scholarship initiative this summer that will give out an automatic $337 scholarship to every student with a 3.0 GPA or higher that registers for at least six hours of summer courses.

“We want to help students graduate on time,” said Alicia Bingham, the summer and winter program coordinator. “We’re trying to do everything we can to allow students to take more courses in the summer.”

Students can take up to 15 hours during the summer, but only one scholarship will be awarded even if 12 or more hours are taken, said Beth Laves, associate vice president for the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach.

“We want to spread [the scholarships] across more students,” she said. “Summer is one way that students can move towards graduation.”

Laves said summer courses can be particularly helpful to students who are exploring different majors and may be taking more than the required number of hours for a major.

According to the scholarship website, 80 percent of WKU students who graduated in four years took at least one summer or winter course.

Laves said in the past, a little more than 6,000 students enrolled in summer courses. She said she hopes that the initiative will up that number.

The idea for the scholarships came about because the federal government is cutting out a lot of aid during the summer, Bingham said.

The $337 amount was decided on because it is the current Kentucky resident rate for one credit hour. While a student will be taking six hours, they will only be paying for five.

While the scholarships are automatic, there are some exceptions, Bingham said.

The scholarship will not apply to students if they are only enrolled in study abroad; if they are Navitas, English as a Second Language, National Exchange Students or Dual Credit; or if  the are on a WKU Faculty/Staff or Kentucky Employee waiver, according to the website.

Bingham said the initiative will be in its trial period this summer, and it will be evaluated in August to see if it will be continued.