Starting fall 2017, Shepherd University’s new $4,000 Metro Scholarship will be available to first-time college students from select counties that live on campus and take at least 12 credit hours per semester.
Eligible students must be from Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, Montgomery, or Washington counties in Maryland; Clarke, Fairfax, Frederick, or Loudoun counties in Virginia; or Franklin County in Pennsylvania.
William Sommers, vice president for enrollment management, said that this will increase enrollment of first year out-of-state students.
“Around 45 percent of students are out-of-state,” Sommers said in an interview. “Shepherd University is in an optimal location. This scholarship will hopefully bring in more first-time students from these designated counties.”
Shepherd University competes with other regional local public universities and private schools that are beginning to discount their tuition by cutting it 45 percent. First-time in-college student populations has been on the decline regionally since 2009-2010.
“We understand that students want the best value and want to receive the best education,” Sommers said. “Scholarships like this can attract more students because they see it as an opportunity to save some money while living on campus.”
Another goal of this program is to increase housing occupancy.
Sommers said, “Living on campus encourages students to become engaged. There’s also a multitude of options for students to choose from: dorms, apartments, and suites.” He added, “We have also found that students who live on-campus are more likely to do better in the classroom than those who do not.”
“We are hoping this will be beneficial to the university,” Sommers said. “We implement these programs carefully and see it as a great marketing tool that will also be beneficial to the students.”
Chace Jones is a staff writer for The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.