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Summer Hawk Tuition Grant users on the rise

BY CARLY MATTHEW | MAY 15, 2015 5:00 AM

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With enrollment still trickling in, one new grant program is showing continued growth in its second year.

The University of Iowa’s Summer Hawk Tuition Grant was initially introduced last year for the incoming class of 2017.

Resident students were able to earn up to 12 free credits during a single summer session while nonresidents received the 12 credits at resident student tuition rates.

Last summer, around 300 students participated.

“Our goal is to help students to a timelier path to graduation,” Academic Advising Center Director Lisa Ingram said.

Approximately 1,920 students who are currently registered for summer classes are eligible to use the grant.

Around 900 students have accepted and been awarded the grant for this summer. Of these, about 600 are residents and 260 are nonresidents, according to the university’s data.

Ingram said it’s important students interested in using the grant have a conversation with their advisers about how they can get the most out of it.

“I think more students will want to use it after their sophomore or junior years because they have a better sense of how it can best be used,” Ingram said.

She said that many first-year students aren’t sure about their majors, while upperclassmen may have a better sense of which courses they would need to take during a summer session.

Additionally, Ingram said, freshmen often tend to spend the summer at home after their first year.

UI sophomore Sydney Luksich said that as an out-of-state student, she didn’t feel the grant was worthwhile.

“It’s kind of useless for people who live out of state,” Luksich said.

UI sophomore Amber Eggers, a resident student, used her grant last summer and took six credits while working part-time.

“Since I’m paying for college myself, it was a really good option for me,” she said.

Some feel like they can stay on the path to a four-year graduation without summer courses, Ingram said. Others might study at a community college, work and try to save money for the next school year, or partake in internships.

A few students choose to use their grant creatively.

“Students use it to both get ahead and catch up,” UI Provost P. Barry Butler said. “We also have some students who are staying on campus in the summer to work with faculty on research projects. They are using it to augment their research experience with a class or two.”

The tuition grant will also play a role in the success of the UI’s new Degree in Three program offered to students in a handful of majors, including English, history, or communications.

Unlike students who aren’t pursuing a three-year degree through the new plan, Butler said these students could split their tuition grant between two summer sessions and “will definitely use it.”


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