Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Most scholarships at UA awarded on meritorious basis

Although The University of Alabama offers several merit-based scholarships to undergraduate students, the Office of Student Financial Aid emphasizes mostly pre-existing federal aid programs, unlike other Southeastern schools.

“Merit scholarships through undergraduate admissions are offered to students who have outstanding credentials from high school, which includes their standardized test score – ACT/SAT – and GPA,” UA spokeswoman Cathy Andreen said. “Prospective students receive recognition of their academic performance through scholarship recognition.”

According to UA’s undergraduate scholarship website, there are only two scholarships for incoming undergraduates that evaluate student financial need.

The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship gives first consideration to students who demonstrate financial need, and the First Scholars Program also requires that students demonstrate financial need.

“Financial assistance is an important part of helping our students reach their educational goals,” Andreen said.

These need-based programs are federally funded, include grants, loans and work-study programs and are evaluated based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

UA only offers one financial aid program outside of pre-existing federal programs, according to the financial aid website. Alabama’s Promise is a grant program for transfer students and evaluates both need and merit. Students under age 25 transferring from Alabama community colleges with at least a 3.0 GPA who qualify for a full Federal Pell Grant and graduated from an Alabama high school are eligible.

“Approximately 48 percent of our students receive some type of federal funding,” Andreen said. “And approximately 25 percent of undergraduates receive Federal Pell Grants. Graduate students are not eligible.”

Andreen said there is no website listing need-based scholarships because the Office of Student Financial Aid relies solely on the FAFSA and UA records to determine who is considered and awarded.

Contrastingly, 60 percent of Auburn University students receive some type of financial aid, Velda Rooker, Auburn director of university scholarships said.

At Auburn, there are a variety of general and departmental scholarships available to students.

“Fifty percent of Auburn’s general and departmental scholarships state a preference or a requirement for a recipient with financial need,” Rooker said. “Need-based scholarships are important because they supplement other financial aid offered. The purpose of any type of financial aid is to provide an educational opportunity for a student who would otherwise not have it and to ease a student’s financial burden.”

Similarly, the University of Georgia offers some form of financial aid to roughly 85 percent of all students, according to the UGA Student Fact Book.

“For our incoming first-year class, only about 13 percent received an academic scholarship from the office of admissions,” said Patrick Winter, UGA’s senior associate director of the office of undergraduate admissions. “However, almost all of our incoming Georgia-resident students are receiving the HOPE scholarship from the Georgia Student Finance Commission.”

The HOPE scholarship is available to Georgia residents and provides money to students who have demonstrated academic achievement to assist with educational costs at HOPE eligible colleges in Georgia.

“Prospective students receive recognition of their academic performance through scholarship recognition,” Andreen said. “Financial aid counselors are available to meet with students at any time to discuss their options for funding their education.”

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