DATE: February 6, 2004

TO: Board of Regents

FROM: Sally Speer - Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program

RE: Revisions to Policy 501.1 Montana University System Honor Scholarships - ITEM 122-101-R0304

Effective July 1, 2003, the Montana University System Honor Scholarship was designated as a four-year scholarship that waives tuition and registration fee at the Montana University System campuses and Dawson, Flathead Valley and Miles Community Colleges.

At the May 2002 Board of Regents meeting the Regents approved revisions to the High School Honor Scholarship that would make it more competitive with out-of-state scholarships. The Board also directed the Commissioner's Office to work with the campuses and high school counselors to develop the underlying policies that would govern the awarding of the scholarship.

From spring of 2002 to fall 2003, workshops have been held with high school counselors throughout Montana to educate them about the changes to the policy, get their input and assist them in its implementation. Mailings were sent in spring 2003 to parents of high school students who would be seniors and eligible to receive the scholarship in spring 2004.

In addition, representatives of the financial aid office at each of the campuses met to discuss revisions to the scholarship policy related to its implementation and to ensure these revisions would be implemented consistently across the campuses. The proposed revisions to the policy are a result of these meetings.

Proposed revisions to the policy are that it waive full tuition and registration fee at the parent/home campus. Eligibility shall be tracked at the end of each academic year with the scholarship available a maximum of 8 contiguous (fall/spring) semesters and it is transferable between eligible campuses. College students lose eligibility by non-enrollment, dropping below the 3.400 GPA or violating the student code of conduct at the eligible campus. An appeal process was added for Montana accredited high school with no students who met the 3.500 GPA eligibility requirements.