To:                   Board of Regents

 

From:               Richard A. Crofts

                        Commissioner

 

Date:                October 17, 2002

 

Subject:            High School Honor Scholarship Program


At the May meeting of the Board of Regents you approved changes in the high school honors scholarship program with the understanding that I would need to develop a financial plan to implement the changes.  The most important change was to make the award more attractive by making it renewable for up to four years for students who continue to meet the standards for high academic performance.

 

Part of our plan has been to approach the Legislature for funding for this program.  However, given the state’s fiscal condition and the relatively cool reception this idea received during the 2001 Legislature, we do not believe there is much likelihood of additional funding for the program.

 

Therefore, we have turned to other approaches.  I am pleased to report that I have now worked out a plan with the CEOs of our four-year campuses to achieve our goals even if we are not successful with the legislature.  In brief, we will cover the second year of the scholarships by reducing the number of scholarships we award by about half and making the award a set amount of $2500.  Instead of offering these students fee waivers as we currently do, the campuses will bill the students for tuition and subtract from the bill the value of the scholarship.

 

The Presidents and Chancellors have agreed that they will assume the responsibility for assuring that these recipients will have the scholarship continued for the third and fourth year out of existing or newly raised private and corporate contributions for scholarships.  We will also regularly raise the value of the scholarship by at least dollar amount of tuition increases so as to ensure that the value of the award does not deflate.

 

We believe that we can make these changes in this program effective with the awards made for students beginning in the Fall of 2004.