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Don't forget to take into account gpa to keep scholarships...

Nan in Mass

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When making decisions about which school to go to, don't forget to take into account the scholarship requirements.  Some scholarships require the student to maintain a very high gpa.  This becomes a problem if the student has health problems or there is a family tragedy or a bad relationship breakup or a capricious professor or a lot of group projects or ...  Scholarships are only good if the student DOES NOT LOSE THEM.   A smaller scholarship with a lower gpa requirement may be better than a larger one with a higher gpa requirement, in the long run.  It all depends on the difficulty of the classes, the course requirements, and the student.



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My daughter's first choice school has no minimum GPA requirement for her $28,000 scholarship, which I think is awesome! She was invited into the honors program, which does have a 3.0 min, but if for some reason she were to fall below that she would not lose her scholarship, just her placement in the program. The other schools she is considering have minimums ranging from 2.5 to 3.5.

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Thank you for posting this, Nan. I saw this mentioned, buried in a different thread, and it really opened my eyes. I agree that it's worth a stand-alone thread and perhaps inclusion in one of the pinned "preparing for college" posts. My DD, barring a bad testing experience, should easily qualify for NM in our state. And our state flagship offers a free ride for NM finalists. BUT it requires a 3.5 to maintain, which makes me very uncomfortable. It would be one thing if she wanted to major in underwater basket weaving, but she's probably going to major in math. I never would have thought to look at scholarship retention had I not read the thread I mentioned. Yikes. I went to college, but I was the first generation and only went because I was copying a friend. I read threads about other parents' shocking ignorance; well, I'm that parent. Sadly, you don't know what you don't know, and there's lot of things I just don't know. Seriously thank you for the post.

Edited by JoJosMom
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And just to add on to Nan's great reminder...


- Know your student: for some students, the sheer stress of trying to keep up a high GPA in order to keep the scholarship can turn the college experience from an exciting opportunity to develop and bloom into an unpleasant grind, or push the student over the edge of being able to cope.


- Does the school have a GPA/scholarship recovery policy? Some schools allow you a "grace" semester to pull the GPA back up to required minimum; others do not.


- Does the student have to pay back the scholarship, if the GPA falls below the requirement? A few schools do require that -- and sometimes, not just for the semester in which the GPA drops, but for the whole year. :(


- Having a less than perfect GPA in the freshman/sophomore years leaves little-to-no-room for getting the occasional lower grade in the *harder* core concentration classes of the junior/senior years.


- What is the back-up plan if that high GPA requirement can't be maintained? (For example: what school can be transferred to that will *accept* all or most of the credits earned at the first school, so there's no loss of time or effort? And what school is financially viable, or offers transfer scholarships?)

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