University increases scholarship outreach to prospective students

By University Communications
January 9, 2017
UW-Stout student Francis Barriga, right, hugs scholarship donor Jillian Obarski at a 2015 scholarship reception at UW-Stout.

Photo: UW-Stout student Francis Barriga, right, hugs scholarship donor
Jillian Obarski at a 2015 scholarship reception at UW-Stout.

Officials at University of Wisconsin-Stout, to help more students achieve the dream of graduating from college, are increasing their efforts to ensure that all students know scholarships are available — some without even needing to fill out a scholarship application form.

“I’ve always said that the most money I ever made per hour was the time I spent filling out scholarship applications when I was a student,” said Chancellor Bob Meyer, who attended UW-Stout as an undergraduate in the 1970s. Meyer remembers averaging about $1,000 a year in scholarships, which were incredibly important in helping him pay for his education, he said.

In fact, he said, the university still offers two of the scholarships he remembers receiving: the Goodman Family Endowed Scholarship and the Hansen Family Scholarship.

Bob MeyerHowever, Meyer and other officials said the university now offers scholarships based on academic criteria, and students can receive them without having to submit an application form to Stout University Foundation.

“A lot of funding assistance is available,” said Joel Helms, director of Admissions. “There are some great opportunities out there.”

For example, the Chancellor’s Scholarship goes to every student in the top 10 percent of their graduating class with an ACT score of 26 or higher. Students receive $3,000 their first year of college and $1,500 their second year if they maintain a 3.0 grade point average and complete 30 credits by the end of their freshman year. In fall 2016, 73 students received these scholarships.

Furthermore, the Polytechnic Scholarship is awarded to students in the top 30 percent of their graduating class who have an ACT of 23 or higher. The award is $1,000 for the first year. In fall 2016, 131 students received the Polytechnic Scholarship.

For both awards, students must be admitted by the first Monday in February, and any updated credentials must be received no later than March 15, 2017.

A relatively new offering is the Stout Scholars Award, which recognizes incoming freshmen with a 26 or better ACT score and who rank in the top 10 percent of their graduating class. An interview process is involved with this scholarship, which is for $5,000 a year, renewable for an additional three years. Support for the Stout Scholars Award comes from a variety of sources at Stout University Foundation. Three new freshmen received the award this year, along with students who renewed annually.

Mark Parsons“The university really has stepped up and tried to meet the need for more scholarship assistance,” said Mark Parsons, vice chancellor for Advancement and University Marketing, adding that more students should take advantage of what is being offered.

In 2016-17 only 529 incoming freshmen completed a foundation scholarship application form, about a third of the total number of new freshmen who enrolled, Parsons said.

Parsons and Helms said many people probably aren’t aware that UW-Stout offers other scholarships that essentially pay for the entire cost of an undergraduate education.

The Rath Foundation Academic Scholarship pays the entire cost of resident tuition and fees, housing and a meal plan. For 2016-17, five students are receiving this scholarship, which had a value of just over $16,000 a year.Engineering students are eligible, and there are GPA criteria as well. The award is renewable for three more years.

Joel HelmsThe Dwight and Linda Nyhus Davis Endowed Scholarship is intended to help UW-Stout students complete their education without significant debt. The scholarship requires an interview. The annual award is $5,000 and renewable for three more years.

One student a year with financial need is eligible for the Charles and Carolyn Blain Mowbray Endowed Scholarship, which also requires an interview, is $8,000 a year and renewable for an additional three years. The Brian K. Gundlach Memorial Scholarship is for juniors or seniors and pays for resident tuition and fees.

Parsons and Helms said other significant scholarships are available for students in various majors: plastics engineering, packaging, business administration, manufacturing engineering, art and design, food and nutrition, and supply chain management, to name a few.

“This is a lot of money that does not have to be repaid,” Helms said.

The scholarship application deadline is Monday, Feb. 6. A list of scholarships is available here.



Second Photo: Bob Meyer

Third Photo: Mark Parsons

Bottom Photo: Joel Helms