Truman to alter scholarship awards

Truman State University is changing student scholarship awards based on recommendations from consultants, with the goal of awarding scholarships more effectively.

The consultants came with fresh eyes from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and took a look at how the University distributed scholarships. Any potential changes will be made to scholarship awards to incoming students, so the scholarships of current students will not be altered.

Regina Morin, vice president for enrollment management, said the consultants recommended the University encourage students to file their FAFSA to ensure they do not miss out on possible federal and student aid they might be receive.

“The consultants found after reviewing a five-year history of admitted new freshman applicants, that those who sent their FAFSA results to Truman enrolled at a higher rate than students who did not,” Morin said.

From this review, the consultants advised Truman to push students to fill out their FAFSA and list Truman as one of their top 10 institutions to send their results to. This would allow prospective students to fully understand Truman’s scholarship opportunities and hopefully yield a higher percentage of students who decide to enroll at Truman.

Another recommendation from the consultants was for Truman to re-evaluate how it currently distributes scholarships and use money more efficiently to offer aid to a broader number of potential students.

Morin said the University is looking at a variety of different characteristics, to determine if it would be better to change the way money is distributed to help students continue their education at Truman.

Morin said the consultants also expressed their understanding of the incredible value Truman has as a liberal arts and sciences institution, but advised the University to talk about its liberal arts education in a more practical way to prevent misunderstanding of the term. They acknowledged that not everyone understands the importance of a liberal arts education and encouraged Truman to educate potential students and families.

Morin said the consultants concluded their research and suggested alternative methods for the University to use it by the end of August, so Truman is focused on implementing those recommendations. Administration started with quicker changes, such as the FAFSA communication, and are working to tackle the larger suggestions.

“Really now what we are in the middle of — and what I would consider to be the next step — is that we’re taking a look at what they’ve recommended and how does that influence us,” Morin said.  “Really taking a close look at, ‘Are we placing those dollars in the best way possible to help the broadest number of students?’”