University adopts aid process for fall class

Campus Times
February 27, 1998


by Jennifer Cuevas
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne's Office of Financial Aid has adopted a new process of granting awards to students, going into effect fall 1998.

The new process will be offered to freshmen and transfers and will not affect returning students.

Three levels of awards have been established. According to Adeline Cardenas-Clague, dean of academic support and retention services, the top level, the Trustee Award, grants a student $6,000 if she possesses a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) or above. The second award is the Founders Award, which grants the student $5,000, with a 3.0-3.49 GPA. And lastly, the 1891 Award grants students with a GPA of 2.6-2.99, $3,000.

According to Dr. Len Hightower, executive assistant to the president, in determining the financial award for a student under this new package, a "combination of academic achievement, recognition and need" will be taken into consideration. However, the bulk of the award will rely on the student's academic performance.

"The big change is that we are adding an emphasis -- probably a much bigger emphasis than we ever have before -- on the academic side of things," said Dr. Hightower.

Dr. Hightower pointed out that although a GPA category and award amount is the approach being utilized, financial need will continue to play a role in the decision making process of granting financial aid.

In determining financial awards, the financial aid officers must consider a number of situations that the government uses to determine what a person's need is.

According to Dr. Hightower, financial need is based upon a combination things, such as the amount of household income, the number of children in a family and the number of people in college. Through this new process, students who do not normally apply for government related grants will have an opportunity to receive an award from ULV, based on academic achievement.

The process will be evaluated yearly. "Every year they [financial aid] will look at the success for the students; the quality of students they want to attract to La Verne and the number of students," said Dr. Hightower.

Asked why the change was made, Dr. Hightower said it was primarily because the Financial Aid Department felt the approach they had was outdated.

He concluded by saying, "This approach has put us in a better position to be able to make a more positive statement to potential students and parents about what kind of support they could receive at ULV."