At the Financial and Investment Committee meeting on Friday, Oct. 25, Kevin Kucera, Vice President and Chief Enrollment Officer, provided an update on the results yielded from the Education First Opportunity Scholarship (EFOS) since it was put in place in the fall of 2012.
The students recieving the EFOS are typically first generation, academically qualified, low income and are residents of Michigan and Ohio. There was also a significant number of students of color found within the program.
“When you take students who are in need, who are academically talented, and you alleviate the financial pressure for those students, it gives them the opportunity to focus on their academics,” said Kucera.
The eligibility requirements for the EFOS include a minimum high school GPA of 3.0, a minimum ACT score of 20, an SAT score of 1030, “First Time in Any College” (FTIAC) status, Federal Pell Grant eligibility and completion of the application by Feb. 1.
The EFOS covers full tutition (30 credits per academic year) minus the Federal Pell Grant, amounting to 13,233 dollars for four years if students meet renewal criteria. To remain eligible for the EFOS, students must enroll in 15 credits each semester, maintain a 2.75 EMU GPA, remain Pell Grant eligble after filing for FAFSA each year by Apr. 1 and meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, which requires students to earn passing grades in a minimum of 67 percent of the credit hours they take. (Grades of F, W, I, N, NC or repeated classes are not "earned.")
On average, there are 475 recipients of the scholarship in an FTIAC class. The average student surpasses the minimum requirements. A student with the EFOS beginning at EMU has an average SAT score of 1149, an average ACT score of 23 and an average high school GPA of 3.52.
“So this particular program has attracted a reasonable number of students but it’s also attracted really high quality students,” explained Kucera.
Furthermore, Kucera showed a higher retention rate per year (2013 through 2018) for students recieving the EFOS verses the overall class. Additionally, based on a six-year graduation rate, Kucera showed there was a higher graduation rate for these students as well. For the incoming class in the fall of 2013, the overall six-year graduation rate was 46.1 percent, the highest it’s ever been. The EFOS graduation rate was 55.3 percent, while the non-EFOS graduation rate was 44.1 percent.
“This really helped our overally graduation rate go up a couple of points. So this program was designed to incentivise graduation, to take students who are talented academically, who experience financial need and get them to the point of graduation,” said Kucera. “And so we’re very, very pleased with the outcome associated with it.”
Kucera added that because the scholarship is callibrated based on 30 credits per year, most students with the EFOS graduate in four years.
“This is just such an excellent program, it’s nice to see that it’s doing what it’s intended to do,” concluded Michelle Crumm, Vice Chair to the Board of Regents.