ITEM 114-102-R0102††††††††† Revise Regents Policy 501.1 - High School Honor Scholarship to allow high schools to award High School Honor Scholarships up until June 30th of the award year.
THAT:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† In such cases where the scholarship is relinquished prior to June 30th of the award year, the high school principal may certify the next ranking eligible member of the same graduating class, but such person will be subject to the same restrictions as the original holder of the scholarship.
EXPLANATION:††††††††††††††††† In January of the studentís senior high school year the students are ranked by the high school based on their cumulative GPA through the 7th semester of school.† This ranking is used to award High School Honor Scholarships to the top students.† If the top student does not intend to enroll in one of the eligible colleges the student relinquishes the scholarship and it is awarded to the next eligible student.† It is expected that the scholarships will all be awarded by May 1st so the students can be recognized at their high school graduation ceremony and enroll in college in a timely manner.† However, the current High School Honor Scholarship policy allows high school principals to award scholarships until December 30th of the award year, which is after college has started.
The policy creates a problem for counselors and principals over the summer months and the fall semester.† Students who are in line to receive the scholarship expect the high school to track the recipients and continue gathering relinquishments long after the senior high school year is over. This also creates a problem for the colleges and financial aid officers because they are expected to track recipients that have left college and the amount of the scholarship that has not been used.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† By moving the date that a scholarship can be awarded up to June 30th, it eliminates the requirement for counselors, principals, financial aid officers and scholarship administrators to track unused scholarships.† Counselors are not available during the summer time and it is difficult to get relinquishment forms signed once summer begins.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The December 30th deadline also creates problems for some recipients.† Because their classmates are aware that the scholarship can be re-awarded as late as December (after college has started), if a classmate thinks the recipient may not be going to use the scholarship as originally planned, the recipient is sometimes approached by a classmate or parent asking the recipient to relinquish the scholarship, when it is not in the recipients best interest to do so.† The recipient must use the scholarship within 9 months of the award date.† However, if the recipient has to withdraw from college for extenuating reasons, such as a health problem, the recipient has three years in which to use the scholarship.† Once the scholarship is relinquished it cannot be reinstated.