Freshman scholarship to jack up enrollment

Tanya Marsh

Tanya Marsh

Most students applying for scholarships know the way it works. An impressive ACT score can carry an application to the front lines. But students with decent ACT scores fail to receive much financial assistance.

In order to offer scholarships to the underserved population of the 24 to 26 point ACT score, SDSU has unveiled its new Jackrabbit Guarantee.

The guarantee is a $1,000 renewable scholarship. To qualify, first-time SDSU freshman need to have an ACT score of 24 or better.

Tracy Welsh, the Director of Admissions at SDSU, said many students will benefit from the creation of the guarantee.

“We saw a need for students in this category; they were not generally receiving scholarships. We just felt there was a need to assist students financially,” she said.

For students offered other assistance, the guarantee will not interfere. In talent scholarhips such as theater, music or athletic scholarships?the top three talent scholarships ?Welsh said, “[Students] get that plus the Jackrabbit Guarantee.”

The deal is not a one-time offer of $1,000. To have the money renewed, Welsh explained, “[students] have to maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA and take 30 credits ? basically be a full-time student ? a minimum of 30 credits a year.”

Students now attending the university that would have fallen into the category of the Jackrabbit Guarantee are missing out, as the money is not being offered retroactively.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the funds to do that,” Welsh said.

Freshman journalism major Bridgett Perry, who would have qualified for the guarantee, regrets that the program just missed her.

“I certainly wish they would have started it last year,” she said.

However, Perry still looks upon the guarantee favorably. “I think it’s a really good idea,” she said. “It gives the incentive for people to come to SDSU.”

That incentive is one of the largest benefits of the program.

“[An] obvious benefit for the university is other institutions, in the past, have not offered the same level of scholarships [as SDSU],” Welsh said.

“Hopefully students will be more interested in us because we can offer them scholarship help that other schools have not.”

Ashley Miller, a senior at Brookings High School, is planning to attend SDSU, and will be receiving the Jackrabbit Guarantee.

“I think it’s a really good idea,” Miller said. “$1,000 renewable is great. It’s one of the best scholarships out there I think.”

While the guarantee wasn’t the most important factor in Miller’s selection of SDSU as her college of choice, it certainly didn’t hurt.

“I was pretty sure I was going to go to SDSU, but [the guarantee] made it a little bit nicer,” she said.