Lottery Scholarship Retention Rate at ASU-Jonesboro is Highest in Arkansas
JONESBORO – Fall semester data released today by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education showed that a higher percentage of students retained their lottery-funded scholarship at Arkansas State University than at any other public university in the state.
Overall, 2,205 students at ASU-Jonesboro, or 66.9 percent, renewed their Academic Challenge Scholarship for fall 2011, based on their academic performance during their first year to receive the award, 2010-11. Another 523 students, or 15.87 percent, completed a degree and thus did not seek renewal.
ASU-Jonesboro’s percentage of students who did not qualify to renew the scholarship was the lowest among the state’s public four-year universities.
A total of 802 traditional students, or 71 percent, retained their Academic Challenge Scholarship for the second year, the highest percentage of traditional students among the state’s public universities. These are students who entered college in the fall after completing high school.
“The classroom performance by recipients of the Academic Challenge Scholarship this year reflects well on the students who selected ASU-Jonesboro for their university education. This high level of achievement fits well into the larger picture of what ASU-Jonesboro is doing to raise its academic profile,” commented Dr. Dan Howard, interim chancellor. “Over a period of years, gradually we have been raising admission standards in order to enhance academic success and the academic atmosphere in which our students compete. The higher scholarship retention level is another benefit of the increased standards.”
Overall, public four-year institutions in Arkansas recorded a renewal rate of 63.27 percent, with 16.09 percent of scholarship recipients completing their degree. A total of 20.63 percent of students statewide did not renew their scholarship.
Dr. Howard pointed out that the lottery-funded scholarship program offers several advantages to Arkansas students.
“First and foremost, the students who benefit from the Academic Challenge Scholarship incur significantly less long-term debt due to student loans,” he explained. With approximately 90 percent of all freshmen at ASU receiving some form of financial aid, most students need help with keeping debt more manageable.
The scholarship support also helps students who are employed to maintain a more favorable balance between study and their job.
“The scholarship allows students to work less, which naturally means they have more time to study and more energy to concentrate,” Dr. Howard added. “Further, the number of students earning degrees is rising significantly each year at ASU, and the higher scholarship retention rate will further help the institution meet Governor Mike Beebe’s goal of doubling the number of college graduates in Arkansas by 2025.”
He also commended the ASU faculty for their commitment and dedication to working with students, both in and outside the classroom, to help them stay on track toward their academic goals. With leadership from Dr. Rick Stripling, vice chancellor for student affairs, staff members in Financial Aid and Scholarships (Terry Finney, director), Admissions (Tammy Fowler, director), and other service areas also perform vital roles in helping support students who are receiving Academic Challenge Scholarships.
With a headcount enrollment of 13,900 students reported to the Department of Higher Education in the fall of 2011, Arkansas State University in Jonesboro is the second largest institution in the state. Another 300 international students participate in the English as a Second Language program, creating an overall enrollment of more than 14,000 students.
ASU-Jonesboro is the largest institution in the ASU System, which also has two-year college campuses at Beebe, Mountain Home and Newport, and additional sites in Searcy, Heber Springs, Marked Tree and Jonesboro. It is also recognized by the editors of U.S. News and World Report in America’s Best Colleges 2012 as a Tier I University, Southern Region.
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