Scholarship Recognition Day welcomes high school seniors to The U

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota will showcase its extraordinary academic and campus programs for high school seniors and their parents during Scholarship Recognition Day, Feb. 20-21.

Students and family members attending Scholarship Recognition Day will have an opportunity to meet USD faculty, receive information on the USD Honors Programs, learn about The U’s study abroad programs and compete for USD’s most popular scholarships.

“This is a showcase for the University as we engage these academically-gifted high school seniors with information about our facilities, our faculty and our academic programs,” stated Joni Freidel, director of scholarship administration at USD. “While this is a great opportunity for them to see campus and learn more about The U, students attending Scholarship Recognition Day are also interviewing for some very significant scholarships.”

Top scholarships available to incoming freshmen include the George S. Mickelson Scholarship and the USD Presidential-Alumni Scholarship. Both of these prestigious awards provide recipients with four-year, renewable scholarships given that students meet the conditions of the award. Students visiting USD for Scholarship Recognition Day will also have an opportunity to interview for various other scholarships, including the Rawlins Scholarship, the School of Law Honor Scholars Program, the Sanford School of Medicine Alumni Student Scholars Program, the Dorothy C. Schieffer Political Science Scholarship, the Al Neuharth Excellence in Journalism Scholarship and the Ullyot Lakota Scholarship, which is awarded to Native American students who are members of recognized tribes.  

During Scholarship Recognition Day at The U, students answer a series of questions from a panel of interviewers. Each interview group is a cross-section of campus life, including faculty, staff members, current scholarship winners and representatives from the community. Although these students represent the best of incoming freshmen who have scored a 27 or higher on their ACT and have accrued a high GPA, the interview process creates an opportunity for USD to evaluate applicants on more than test scores and grades. Leadership ability, extracurricular activities, community involvement and academic excellence are factors in determining scholarship recipients.

In addition to the interview process, students also participate in special sessions to learn more about undergraduate research at The U, pre-register for fall 2010 classes, and participate in academic showcases from the College of Arts & Sciences, the Beacom School of Business, the School of Education, the College of Fine Arts and the School of Health Sciences. The University Scholarship Committee will finalize its recommendations and recipients will be notified of their award by mid-March. 

“It’s an exciting time, not just for the high school seniors participating in Scholarship Recognition Day but for the campus community,” noted Freidel, who added that more than 100 students are expected each day of the weekend to interview for scholarships and learn more about USD’s academic and campus offerings. “There are many academic and student service departments coming together to make this event a success.”

For more information about scholarships at USD, including a list of available scholarships to incoming freshmen as well as The U’s new online scholarship application process, go to www.usd.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.cfm. Information about financial aid at USD is also available by contacting the Office of Financial Aid at (605) 677-5446 or you can visit www.usd.edu/financial-aid/index.cfm.