Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Is It Just Me?

How does your college handle scholarships?

For reasons I still don’t understand, my cc awards scholarships almost entirely as students graduate. For all intents and purposes, they’re contributions towards tuition at other places.

The advantage of this system, to the extent that there is one, is that it’s easier to base scholarship awards on college G.P.A.’s and majors. Given how specific many of the donors are (must be an x major from town a, b, or c, with a GPA of at least 3.z…), the only way to meet some of the criteria is retroactively. Let students go through two years on their own dime, then see who fits and give them a pat on the back as they walk out the door.

Still, for a college that’s struggling for enrollment, this strikes me as bass ackwards.

It strikes me as a high school model. For a public high school, it makes sense to award scholarships as the kids graduate, since there’s no tuition (or charge for books) in the first place. But we charge tuition, and our students buy their own books.

Don’t most colleges use scholarships for recruitment? Isn’t that typically their primary function?

Is this typical for cc’s? Am I the only one who finds this strange?