Merit-Based Scholarships Awarded to More Than 500 Freshmen

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: November 23, 1998 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- More than 500 freshmen who entered the University at Buffalo this fall received scholarships of $2,500 or more -- totaling more than $1.3 million this year -- through several programs designed specifically to attract the best students to the university.

One of these programs, a $2,500-a-year scholarship for students not in the University Honors Program that was added to the mix just this semester, has been credited by a senior UB administrator with making the university competitive with private institutions for the best students.

There are 2,932 students in this year's freshman class; more than 1 in 6 was awarded a merit-based scholarship.

Nicolas Goodman, vice provost for undergraduate education, said that while tuition at UB is only $3,400 for New York State residents and $8,300 for students from outside New York, the rates are not much lower than the discounted tuition at private universities, "making it very difficult to compete for the best students.

"We've seen some students we really ought to get go to other schools," he added.

The university administration, he said, decided that to offset that problem, it was "crucial to the continued quality of our undergraduate program that we offer a significant number of attractive, merit-based scholarships. There are few more important things we can invest in than the quality of the student body."

A total of 527 first-semester freshmen received scholarships of at least $2,500, a sum of $1,335,500 for the 1998-99 academic year. In addition, 22 freshmen were awarded full scholarships as Distinguished Honors Scholars and one student received the full Robert I. and Eleanor Z. Millonzi Honors Scholarship for the Performing Arts.

Over the past few years, UB has increased both the numbers of students accepted into the University Honors Program and the amount of money awarded to those students. Besides yearly scholarships, members of the Honors Program receive special programming, such as access to faculty mentors, priority course enrollment, special seminars and the opportunity to live in honors housing units.

Most freshmen enrolled in the Honors Program this fall -- 157 students -- were given awards of $2,500 a year for four years. In addition, 12 students are receiving $4,000 a year for four years, and seven students are receiving performing-and-creative-arts scholarships of $2,500 a year for four years.

UB also has established "Challenge Scholarships" that provide students with $2,500 for the first year. At the end of that year, they will be invited to join the Honors Program -- and retain the $2,500 scholarship for the next three years -- if they have a grade-point average of 3.5, said Josephine Capuana, administrative director for the Honors Program. Those scholarships were given to 143 freshmen.

And for the first time this semester, UB has awarded merit-based scholarships of $2,500 a year for four year to students not in the University Honors Program. These scholarships were awarded to 207 freshmen who ranked just below the level to qualify for the Honors Program or Challenge Scholarships. They are based on cumulative high-school average through the junior year, rank in the graduating class and SAT or ACT scores.