20-50 new academic scholarships proposed

Luis Martinez, Administration Editor

During the Faculty Senate meeting on Feb. 10, there was a proposal asking the senate to support a campaign to create a large number of academic scholarships. The scholarships will available to students in any major.

The campaign is tentatively titled “EIU Community Commitment to Excellence Scholarships.”

Recipients of the scholarships would be awarded $2,000 for the renewable scholarship.

The scholarship would be similar to the EIU Challenge to Excellence Award, which is funded based upon appropriated funds.

Funds are awarded through a process combing an applicant’s GPA and ACT scores in order to rank them accordingly. The minimum GPA and ACT score in order to apply for the Challenge to Excellence Award is 3.0 and 21, respectively.

For the proposed new scholarships, the process would only slightly be modified, raising the minimum ACT scores from 21 to 22.

The goal of the Community Commitment to Excellence scholarships to create a large number of scholarships, ranging from 20 to 50, in order to attract major donors, giving them an option to donate either through the endowment or through a cash in and cash out fund.

The cash in and cash out fund would help provide an early start to the program, while the endowment fund would help the program in the long-term.

There is a committee created to help coordinate the fundraising efforts, and the next steps are to include the following: obtaining support for many campus organizations as possible; recruiting department representatives in order to solicit contributions from colleagues in order to start the initial scholarship; raise $25,000 in order to help create a separate account for the scholarships; obtain a small contribution in order to impress contributors about the seriousness of the commitment; and look for donors who can make a larger contribution to the scholarships.

Political science professor Andrew McNitt brought the proposal to the senate.

McNitt was not available for further comment.

Luis Martinez can be 581-2812 or at [email protected].