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The Presidents’ Scholarship

By Kaitlyn Thompson
EMCC Scholarship Award Ceremony

Did you realize that there is a chance you could attend Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) without having to pay tuition? EMCC offers a scholarship called the Presidents’ Scholarship, which allows recent high school graduates to attend tuition free for two years.

A recent graduate is someone who has graduated less than one academic year ago. The Presidents’ Scholarship is offered to students who either qualify through their placement test scores or who were ranked in the top 15 percent of their high school graduates. “I qualified for the Presidents’ Scholarship because I was in the top 15 percent of my high school’s graduating class,” commented scholarship recipient, Bailee Weber. Students who graduate in the top 15 percent also have to score a 5 on the Writeplacer and test into CRE 101 and into MAT 120.

Another route for recent high school graduates to obtain the Presidents’ Scholarship is by way of their placement test scores. The placement test is an alternative that is accessible to those who did not have high GPAs before attending EMCC.  All full-time students take placement tests for reading, writing, and math before attending Estrella Mountain. These form the basis for the eligibility of the scholarship.

If certain students have not met the placement test score requirements to obtain the Presidents’ Scholarship, they have the opportunity to retest for an attempt to experience community college tuition free. Students can test twice per year and after the second test, they have to wait for three months before testing a third time.

Students then have to apply to the Honors Program. The Honors Program office is now located in Montezuma Hall 234. As soon as the Honors Program receives the application, official high school transcripts and placement test scores, a student can be admitted.

Once the Presidents’ Scholarship has been awarded to an individual, a variety of steps will need to take place in order to maintain said scholarship. Scholarship recipient students must take one Honors-only cohort course each semester, or substitute an Honors class with an Honors project.

“I'm actually in the process of doing an Honors project right now. For my project, I will be creating a PowerPoint presentation on the childhood disorder, autism. I really like it so far because I'm able to do a project on something I enjoy learning and teaching about. My professor has been really encouraging and excited about having a student do an honors project, too. So that has been really cool,” enthused Honors student Allison Beebe.

Along with completing an Honors project, Presidents’ Scholarship recipients have to attend both an Honors sponsored event and an Honors forum each semester. Some examples of past events and forums include a forum about the testing of drugs in third world countries, and a conference for Women’s History Month. The Honors office offers a variety of events on campus throughout the semester, giving students an assortment of opportunities to meet their requirements.

In order to maintain the Presidents’ Scholarship, students must uphold a GPA of at least 3.25 throughout their time at EMCC. The Honors Office provides assistance to students who feel that they will not be able to keep up that GPA, and recommends the variety of tutoring resources on campus. Maintaining a high GPA to keep a scholarship may seem like an unattainable feat for some students, but with the assistance of tutors in the Academic Success Center/Tutoring in Estrella Hall South, and a bit of elbow grease, students can find success.

Students are encouraged to check with their advisors to see if they are eligible for the scholarship, as it may have been overlooked when starting EMCC. “When I went to register for classes for the Fall 2012 semester, my advisor looked at my placement test scores and told me I was eligible. After that, I went to the Honors Office and filled out paperwork, and then I had a scholarship. It sort of fell into my lap,” commented Beebe.

“The Honors Program is a great experience and looks great on your resume,” declared Weber. The Honors Program can open many doors to students, such as transfer scholarships to universities based on GPAs, and the chance to engage in invigorating forums and lectures.

For more information on the scholarship, please visit the following website: http://www.estrellamountain.edu/academics/honors/scholarships