Scholarship houses promote community living for the education minded

Smith men and Smurthwaite ladies enjoy a meal together at Smith during an exchange dinner between the two scholarship houses Thursday evening. Smith and Smurthwaite also hold many other social events together throughout the school year. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

With the end of the semester drawing near, many students are thinking about where they are going to live and who they are going to live with next semester. College students have many options for housing from residence halls to greek life residences. One option some students might consider is living in a scholarship house. K-State’s campus is home to three scholarship houses: Alpha of Clovia, Smurthwaite Leadership and Scholarship House and Smith Scholarship House.

Scholarship houses at K-State encourage leadership, scholarship and fellowship for their residents who are chosen through an application and interview process. For a lower rate, scholarship house residents engage in community living and assume more responsibilities than a student in the residence halls would, such as cooking and cleaning.

Alpha of Clovia 4-H Scholarship House

“What I like best about it is that it feels like a tight knit family but we are all very different,” Heidi Katt, junior in pre-nursing and a New Membership Chairwoman for Clovia, said.

Founded in 1931 and supported by the Kansas 4-H Foundation, Clovia used to be a part of the Panhellenic Council until it established itself as an independent cooperative house in 1961. Clovia looks for women who were in the 4-H program for at least two years and have a 3.0 high school GPA or 2.65 college GPA, which they are required to maintain.

“It’s big enough to have diversity but small enough to feel that you belong, that you’re cared about, which is really nice in college,” Katt said.

Clovia charges residents $1,600 per semester, $2,380 cheaper than the standard rate for room and board with a 15 meal, meal-plan in the residence halls.

Smurthwaite Leadership and Scholarship House

While Clovia is part of a national organization, Smurthwaite is part of the K-State Housing and Dining Services and can house up to 46 women.

“I think for K-State it offers a really unique opportunity,” Sara Peters, graduate student in counseling and student development in and Smurthwaite’s assistant coordinator, said. “They get the opportunity to learn these skills where if you lived in a traditional residence hall you don’t necessarily have to take care of all of these things.”

Smurthwaite residents must maintain a 2.8 cumulative GPA, join at least one student organization at K-State, partake in community service, complete chores and more.

“They are really taking on these leadership roles and taking responsibility for their actions and for someone going into college student development it’s really awesome to see these women emerging as strong leaders,” Peters said.

Smurthwaite charges residents $3,490 per semester, $490 cheaper than the standard rate for room and board with a 15 meal meal-plan in the residence halls.

Smith Scholarship House

Smurthwaite, like Clovia, is an all-female housing option for students. For males interested in scholarship housing, there is Smith Scholarship House. Patrick Stegman and Josh Smith, both juniors in mechanical engineering at K-State, are the president and vice president of Smith Scholarship House, respectively.

“We are just looking for guys that want to live in a community,” Patrick Smith, vice president of Smith Scholarship House, said. “Maybe they are sick of the dorm thing, or don’t want to live on their own, or have the resources to.”

Founded in 1958, Smith House, like Smurthwaite and Clovia, is a self-sustaining living arrangement that houses approximately 34 men.

“It’s gotta be the sense of community that you build,” Stegman said when asked about his favorite thing about the Smith House. “You guys really start clicking and it’s really awesome to be able to live with 33 other guys that are all on the same page as you.”

Smith charges residents $2,463 per semester and offers a 17 meal, meal-plan, $1,517 cheaper than the standard rate for room and board with a 15 meal, meal-plan in the residence halls.

So next semester when you look to move off-campus, consider the community environment offered by the various scholarship houses on campus.