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Honors College downgrade equals no Eagle Hall upgrade

by Tori Martinez
Tue, Mar 27th 2018 09:00 pm

As more students gain access to free tuition in New York State, The College at Brockport is adjusting some of its scholarships to be more beneficial to students, according to Adam Standish, coordinator of the Student Employment and Extraordinary Academic Scholarship Program. Replacing what was previously the Honors Scholarship will be the Prometheus Scholarship, going into effect this coming fall.

The Honors Scholarship, exclusive to students within the Honors College, was previously awarded in the amount of in-state tuition, totaling $6,670 per year. Though the amount given out was in the price of tuition, the money could go wherever the student needed it. However, students would not qualify for the scholarship if they moved off campus. Those who received the Honors Scholarship before the discontinuation of it will continue to receive it for as long as they are undergraduates at Brockport, while all incoming students will recieve the Prometheus Scholarship, a $4,000 scholarship per year.

Since the new Excelsior Scholarship was rolled out almost a year ago, students whose families earn up to $100,000 can now qualify for free tuition at any SUNY or CUNY school, so long as they meet the GPA requirement and maintain 30 credits annually, as well as live and work in New York State after graduation for as many years as they received the scholarship. Standish says this is why the college is switching around how the scholarships work. In theory, an honors student could receive the Excelsior Scholarship as well as the Prometheus Scholarship, meaning their tuition would be covered and $2,000 of their room would be covered per semester, leaving the student to pay $2,139 per semester if their dorming expenses were to cost a total of $4,139. This does not cover meal plans, however, which average about $2,225 per semester, and are mandatory for students who live on campus.

“The Prometheus Scholarship has been adjusted to cover rooms,” Standish said “That was adjusted to fit the Excelsior Scholarship, to benefit a student’s financial aid package the most. Even though Brockport is a state university, it’s not that cheap to attend.”

Students who receive the Excelsior and Prometheus Scholarships will benefit more than they would have with the Honors Scholarship alone, since the total of their aid would be include an extra $4,000 on top of the cost of tuition. However, students who do not receive the Excelsior scholarship will benefit less than they would have with the Honors alone. The total of their aid will only be $4,000, which would have been $6,670.

Though students in the future will receive less aid from the new scholarship the college gives out, Standish says they will not feel a difference since they never received the Honors Scholarship before.

All the aforementioned prices apply to the corridor and suite-style dorms like Thompson and Dobson Halls, as well as high rises like Mortimer. When it comes to the new hotel-style dorm Eagle Hall or the Townhomes, though, students will not be award the full amount from the Prometheus Scholarship, and instead will only receive $500 per semester, or $1,000 per year. Eagle Hall will cost $4,339 per semester and the Townhomes will cost $4,750.

Chief communications officer of the college David Mihalyov said the reason the award amounts differ based on housing is because newer housing, like the brand-new, yet-to-open Eagle Hall, needs to be funded.

“Scholarships, like all other expenses, must be budgeted for in some way,” Mihalyov wrote in an email. “It is a balance of what we would like to be able to do or what the available funding is vs. other budget items or needs The College has to provide for all students and ensure their success.” 

Standish said that in order to pay for construction and maintenance of Eagle Hall and the Townhomes, the college can’t provide room waivers.

“The funding model for both Eagle Hall and the Townhomes is that it is collected in the rent of the rooms, not scholarships.”

To qualify for and receive the Prometheus scholarship, students must apply for it before they begin their freshman year. The criteria of the scholarship is a combination of SAT scores and high school GPAs, meaning students must enroll in the scholarship before they attend college. Students who begin receiving the scholarship their freshman year can continue to receive it for the duration of their years as long as they continue to maintain the academic requirements, and live on campus all four years.

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