Effective in the fall 2020 semester, Kansas State University is changing its GPA requirement for receiving and renewing scholarships so students will be able to keep scholarships with a 3.0 GPA, down from 3.5.
“Given the rising cost of education, scholarships are often the only way a student can afford to attend college, and the cost of tuition has steadily risen as state support for public universities has declined,” Charles Taber, provost and executive vice president, said. “Scholarships are a very important investment by K-State to attract students and support their success.”
Robert Gamez, financial aid director for academic student services, said K-State’s GPA requirement for scholarships used to be the highest of any university in the state.
“For our central scholarships, typically we’ve always had a GPA requirement for central scholarships to be renewable,” Gamez said. “And currently, right now, for this academic year, it’s a 3.5, and Kansas State University has always been fairly high on that compared to other institutions.”
By lowering GPA requirements, Gamez said students will be able to count on aid from scholarships as more reliable sources of income for paying tuition and housing.
“It’s not quite as stressful,” Gamez said. “For example, for our incoming freshman class that’s going to be coming in the fall of 2019, students who are awarded central scholarships, … when their scholarships renew for fall of 2020, those students will only have to be at a 3.0. But the renewal GPA requirement doesn’t actually take effect until fall of 2020.”
Regardless, Taber said having a good GPA sets every student up for success anyway.
“A strong GPA generally signifies greater success in classes and is an important consideration for getting future opportunities, including entry into graduate or professional schools and, in some cases, employment,” Taber said.
There are a wide range of scholarships available for students, including central scholarships awarded by the university and institutional scholarships awarded by specific departments.
“Generally speaking, the university has a number of different kinds of institutional scholarships,” Gamez said. “And very broadly speaking, we have scholarships, which are central scholarships. [They’re] basically scholarships that are awarded centrally by the university. And then there are also scholarships that are awarded by the individual colleges and departments.”
Students can apply for scholarships within their major or outside of their major. Gamez explained that institutional scholarships are put in place along with other financial aid.
“Our office will incorporate any scholarship awards in with a student’s other financial aid,” Gamez said. “So if a student applied for federal student aid, we would award federal student aid and we would also include any scholarships a student was awarded as well so the student gets a complete financial aid package.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated the change in GPA requirements would go into effect in the fall of 2021. This mistake was based on a misunderstanding of verbal communication. The change will take effect in the fall of the ’20-’21 academic year.