The awarding of financial aid from the university will be slightly restructured in hopes of allowing more opportunity for incoming students, along with wanting students to feel more comfortable with the amount of money they pay to attend the university.
There are currently three types of financial aid that the university offers to students. The first merit aid, which is given to students based on academic, musical, artistic and athletic abilities. The second type of aid is need-based, where the FAFSA comes into play – this shows the student’s financial need based upon other qualifications. The third type of aid is called entitlement aid, which is based on a type or form of membership a student has, like being a part of the United Brethren community.
According to Daniel Solms, vice president for marketing and admissions, a lot more money will be awarded to incoming students based on their GPA and test scores from high school.
“In the past, we would just give a small amount of merit aid and then we looked a lot at the need-based aid,” Solms said. “And so the goal is to show students more money up front so that there’s an understanding that Huntington [University] is interested in them being in our community.”
The university goes through a process called financial leveraging that has been done on a regular basis since 2001. In March of 2014, there was discussion about changing the financial aid, Solms said.
“We worked with a company by the name of Ruffalo Noel Levitz,” Solms said. “The analysis took place over the summer. It’s a pretty thorough and exhausting process.”
The students that are currently enrolled in the university, however, will not be affected by the change. Solms said the benefit of doing this will hopefully bring in more students to the university.
“The more students that are here, the more opportunity that creates for improving facilities, programs etc.,” Solms said. “The goal would be that we’re able to offer a competitive aid package for students that has them feeling good about the way they’re valued at Huntington [University].”
Joe Mattox, assistant director of financial aid, said the finer points of this propsoal have not yet been finalized.
“I can say that the proposed changes will benefit students who perform well academically in high school,” Mattox said, “and that students who may not score too well on the ACT or SAT can still benefit from having a strong high school GPA.”
Mattox also said that the changes should simplify the scholarship process for incoming students – putting greater attention toward a student’s academic record and less focus toward other criteria.