This is the transcript for Episode (January 11, 2018) of the “Title IV + More Podcast for Utah Counselors and Educators” from Katie Wornek, Jacob Newman, and Bryan Lee at StepUp to Higher Education Utah.
Please be advised that the FAFSA and federal student aid are subject to change. While we ensure all the information we share in each episode is accurate at the time of the episode’s release, our statements are not insulated from future changes. If you have questions, we encourage you to call us at 801-869-5701 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bryan: Welcome and thank you for listening to StepUp Utah’s Title IV + More Podcast for Counselors and Educators. This podcast is brought to you by StepUp to Higher Education Utah, helping Utah’s students and parents prepare and pay for college. Find more about us at StepUpUtah.com.
Jacob: Hello, listeners. This is Jacob Newman, a paying for college expert with StepUp Utah and we have a special episode this week. This week’s guest is Carrie Beckman, who is the scholarship manager for Regents’ Scholarship. Welcome, Carrie.
Carrie: Thank you, Jacob. Happy to be here.
Jacob: So, to get us started, tell us a bit about the Regents’ Scholarship and its purpose.
Carrie: The Regents’ Scholarship has always and continues to promote college preparation. Since 2008, when the scholarship was first created, we have awarded nearly 18,000 students over $50 million. And we have seen that students who enter college experience success while in college. For example, 70% of students surveyed felt that the classes that they took to earn the scholarship helped prepare them for college either very well or well. Another stat that I’d like to point out is students who earn the scholarship have an average first-year college GPA a full point higher than those who didn’t apply for the scholarship. So that equates to a 3.5 GPA vs. a 2.5 GPA. And the last stat that I wanted to mention is students who were part of the 2009 high school graduating class that earned the scholarship and went to attend our public colleges and universities had a really high completion rate of 75% earning a degree within six years of entering college, compared to those who didn’t earn the scholarship only had a 35% completion rate. So we feel like it is doing what we hope that it is supposed to be doing as far as helping students be prepared for college and participate successfully in college.
Jacob: Those are some really awesome statistics and it’s really great to hear about some of the successes that the scholarship has had. So, there are some changes to Regents’ obviously, so what are the top three things people need to know about next year’s Regents’ Scholarship.
Carrie: Thanks for the question. I just want to make sure that we understand that this is for the graduating class of 2019 and that the requirements – the academic requirements – essentially stay the same. Students choosing classes based on the old scholarship requirements are still going to be on track for the new scholarship requirements. The second point is that every student who qualifies for the scholarship will receive an award. The scholarship award amount will be determined annually based on available funds and the applicants participating in the program, so awards will be coordinated through the student’s college that they’re going to attend in order to leverage all other financial aid opportunities and try to simplify the financial aid packaging experience for the students. The third point is that the Regents’ Scholarship does not require students to qualify for federal loans. Students are going to be required to apply and complete the FAFSA, which is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, but again they do not have to qualify for any federal aid.
Jacob: Awesome. So, if students have been preparing for the Regents’ Scholarship, what adjustments, if any, do they need to make to be on track.
Carrie: So, again, the classes remain relatively the same. So if a student had already put together their four-year plan, they’re fine to continue on with that plan. We have adjusted just minor tweaks within math requirement – simplifying it – so they’re welcome to call us and ask us questions about that if they want to just adjust their math a little bit. Again, we took a simpler approach with the new scholarship’s requirements. And then the social science, we have reduced the credit amount from 3.5 credits to 3 credits. Second, students will need to make an adjustment in regards to their ACT and GPA. Students will need to demonstrate that they’ve met the ACT and GPA requirements at the time that they’re applying, which is during the months of November through February. In the past they’ve been able to take the ACT after and improve their score after they’ve submitted their application, but we need to know that they’ve actually qualified with their application materials. Again, they’ll submit no later than February 1.
Jacob: So, what are the requirements for qualifying for the scholarship then?
Carrie: There are four academic requirements. The first is that they need to complete the right classes and that information is available on our website in our program guide. They’ll want to make sure that they’re looking at the program guide that’s specific for the class of 2019. They need to earn a 3.3 or higher high school GPA, earn a 22 or higher composite ACT score, and graduate from high school – that is a Utah high school. In addition, there are four non-academic requirements. Number one – complete the FAFSA. Two – meet college enrollment or deferment requirements. Three – meet citizenship requirements. And four – complete an application by the deadline that we have established.
Jacob: Awesome. So, if counselors or students have questions or they need more information, what’s the best way to get some information about the scholarship?
Carrie: So, first off, you can always go to our website, which is RegentsScholarship.org. You can also email us – RegentsScholarship@ushe.edu. Or give us a call at 801-321-7159. We really appreciate all questions coming to us because we know that there is some confusion out there and we would love to be able to resolve any questions or concerns that people have, and so please call us directly rather than going to a counselor or a neighbor or a friend who has maybe had past experience with the scholarship. Things are new and things are different so we want to make sure everybody has the most accurate information, which means coming to the source directly. And so, again, our website RegentsScholarship.org has our program guide information on there. It also has a new planning guide for those who are graduating in 2019 or thereafter that would outline the basics of the changes, too.
Jacob: Great. Thank you so much for joining us, Carrie. We really appreciate this update. And again, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Carrie and her team. They’ll be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns.
Carrie: One last thing I just want to squeeze in is a reminder that our deadline for the 2018 kids is coming up. It’s February 1. We are sending out some reminders, but we hope that all students who want to participate and apply for the scholarship will meet that deadline so that they can be a viable candidate.
Jacob: Yea, that’s just right around the corner, so you want to make sure you don’t miss that deadline. Again, thank you Carrie. We really appreciate all you do and thank you all for joining us for this special episode. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Carrie and her team.
Carrie: Thanks for having me.
Bryan: StepUp to Higher Education is an outreach initiative of the State of Utah that empowers 8th through 12th grade students and their families to prepare for college. We believe every Utah student should pursue education after high school, whether that be a one-year certificate, a two-year degree, a four-year degree, or beyond that. We provide programs and resources to encourage college prep and success, as well as training and materials for school counselors like you. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Title IV + More Podcast for Counselors and Educators. You can find more about us, order outreach and access materials, or request a StepUp Utah event at your school at StepUpUtah.com. And lastly, be sure to follow us on social media. You can find us at Facebook.com/StepUpUtah, also on Instagram and Twitter by searching for @StepUpUtah. You can also find our Outreach Officers on social media, as well. Just search for @StepUpKatie and @StepUpJacob.
This is the transcript for Episode 9 (January 11, 2018) of the “Title IV + More Podcast for Utah Counselors and Educators” from Katie Wornek, Jacob Newman, and Bryan Lee at StepUp to Higher Education Utah.