The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Freshman year is key in keeping scholarships

Approximately 30 percent of freshmen that begin attending the U with Honors at Entrance Scholarships will lose them-and the accompanying four years of free tuition-during their first year of college.

But if a student can keep his or her scholarship through the first two semesters, chances are that person will keep it until graduation, said Angela Wimmer, U scholarship manager. She recommends students take the minimum 12 credit hours required to keep the scholarship.

Honors at Entrance Scholarships are given to entering freshmen with an ACT score of at least 28 and a 3.9-or-higher GPA in high school.

Despite being bright, these students tend to underestimate the difficulty of college and load up on courses that might be harder than the AP classes they took in high school, Wimmer said. Jes Frandsen didn’t have to study to get all A’s in high school, but now, as a freshman in biology, she is struggling to hold on to her Honors at Entrance Scholarship.

Frandsen took 17 credit hours her first semester, many of them science classes. She got a 3.68 GPA, just less than the required 3.7.

This semester, Frandsen is taking 19 credit hours and is trying to pull her grades up so that she won’t lose her scholarship. She thinks the GPA requirement is too high.

“The average GPA of those that get into medical school is less then the GPA I have to keep,” Frandsen said.

But if Frandsen makes it through the first year, she is likely to keep her scholarship until she graduates.

Only 2 percent of students lose their scholarship each year in the sophomore, junior, and senior years.

Scholarships are re-evaluated at the end of every two semesters. If students fall below the required 3.7 GPA, they lose the scholarship and cannot reapply.

But if students are just barely under the required GPA and have a “good reason” for their lower grades, the Scholarship Office will give them one semester to raise their GPA back above the 3.7 mark.

“Good reasons” may include extended illness, a death in the family or a traumatic experience, Wimmer said.

If students think they are going to have a problem, Wimmer suggests that they come in and talk to her before they lose their scholarship.

Wimmer also recommends that at most, students should work 15-20 hours a week, preferably on-campus

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