Last year, the Student Government Association ran out of the money it had set aside for student scholarship opportunities.
They’re trying to make sure that won’t happen again this year.
SGA increased their budget for scholarships from $12,000 to $20,000 this year. To accommodate for the change, SGA had to lower the budget for general senate funding from $20,000 to $12,000.
SGA President Colton Jessie said it didn’t matter that they had to take away money from the general budget for scholarships.
“We went a little low on funds last year because so many people applied,” he said. “All the extra money we used for scholarships last year came from the general senate funding budget, so it didn’t lose any money in the long run.”
Bowling Green senior Sarah Nicole Lightfoot was able to help fund her summer trip to Spain and Italy through a scholarship she received from SGA.
“I was searching the Study Abroad website and came across the SGA scholarship, so I applied for it,” Lightfoot said. “I was so thankful to have gotten money to help me on my trip.”
Nate Hovee, a junior from Portland, Ore., used the $800 he received last year from SGA to help fund his semester abroad at Harlaxton.
“The $800 I received from SGA allowed me to travel throughout the United Kingdom on college-sponsored trips, and it also gave me the chance to pursue my own academic interests by traveling independently throughout Europe,” he said. “Without funding from SGA, I would not have been able to take advantage of the travel opportunities available to Harlaxton students during their semester abroad.”
Jessie said SGA is also finalizing a study away scholarship, where students can travel inside the country.
“They are for someone who wants to study at another university or a place that has a really good program WKU might not offer,” he said.
Executive Vice President Kendrick Bryan said SGA has already set aside $400 for study away scholarships in the winter term.
SGA also offers scholar development grants to help students with funding for projects or research. Bryan said this grant can be used in a number of ways.
“If you want to present a paper at a conference, SGA can help you out financially, or if you need money to help fund a physics project, then we could help with that,” Bryan said.
Bryan said SGA is in talks to help fund test prep for students, including the LSAT and MCAT.
The fall deadline for study abroad scholarships and scholar development grants is Oct. 15.
Hovee said that since his experience last year was so worthwhile, he will be applying for another scholarship.
“I’m actually looking into a study abroad program in New Zealand for next semester, so I’m sure I’ll be applying for another SGA scholarship soon,” he said.
Jessie said he hopes even more students will look into applying for scholarships through SGA.
“The SGA’s goal is to help out students, and since activities like studying abroad have become such a big part of the WKU experience, we want to be able to help get students there and further their experience,” he said.Jessie said the most popular SGA scholarship is for studying abroad. He said SGA offers up to $500 for a semester-long study abroad trip or $250 for a winter or summer term trip.
He said SGA has limited the amount of the scholarships this year in an effort to give out more.