UT program expands full-tuition guarantee to all Ohio schools

March 31, 2010 | News, UToday
By Jon Strunk

After initially expanding its Blue and Gold Scholar Award Program, part of the UT Guarantee, from six to 21 urban public school districts last year, The University of Toledo will announce another expansion: from 21 school districts to hundreds of them.

Wednesday, March 31, at 11 a.m. in the east lobby of the Memorial Field House, UT officials will announce the expansion of the Blue and Gold Scholar Award Program to include any Pell Grant-eligible seniors with at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average who attend a high school in the state of Ohio or Monroe County, Mich.

“With a successful first year of the Blue and Gold Scholar Award Program completed, we feel we’re ready to expand this program to eligible students from all public and private high schools across the state,” said Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity.

Under the program, UT covers the remaining tuition costs after Pell and state grants are applied to a student’s bill.

Burns said increases to federal Pell Grants embedded in the recently passed health-care legislation will further expand access as more students and families become eligible for Pell Grants due to the tough economic environment.

“It’s been a very hard 18 months. This program will not only help give peace of mind to many families that may have been hit in one way or another by the recession, it will also provide an opportunity for these students to attend the University,” Burns said.

According to Kevin Kucera, UT associate vice president for enrollment services, many districts locally and throughout the state had expressed interest in being added to the program when they heard about it during the last year.

“In short, we heard you,” Kucera said. “Now that we’ve had a chance to evaluate the impact of this year’s Blue and Gold Scholars, it’s clear this expansion is in the best interests of UT, as well as those of students and families across Ohio.

“The cornerstone of UT’s scholarship program is to provide merit assistance to academically talented students regardless of need,” Kucera said. “The unique element of the Blue and Gold Scholar Award is the combination of need and academic achievement.”

Ohio’s Chancellor of Higher Education Eric Fingerhut also praised the program.

“The University System of Ohio is always striving to provide affordable options for higher education,” Fingerhut said. “The University of Toledo’s Blue and Gold Scholar Award is evidence that a high-quality education truly is affordable.”

To qualify for the Blue and Gold Scholar Award, students must graduate with a 3.0 GPA, complete and turn in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, show some level of Pell Grant eligibility, and apply to UT — all by May 1. For more information, contact the UT Office of Undergraduate Admission at 419.530.UTUT (8888). The award does not apply to room or board.

Once at UT, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete a minimum of 30 credit hours each academic year to ensure renewal. The scholarship is renewable for four years.

The Blue and Gold Scholar Award Program is part of the University’s UT Guarantee, which also includes the Scholarly Savings Account Program that is aimed at providing financial incentives to students beginning in the eighth grade to academically prepare them for college.

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