University has rule in place to keep students from ‘stacking’ scholarships

With the costs of post-secondary education going up, more students are worrying about how to pay for college. Some, however, are getting paid to go to college.

Scholarships are awarded based on achievements during high school, grades, clubs and sports, but some students are getting much more than the cost of tuition.

“You’ve got the endowed scholarship, the athletic scholarship, certain scholarships like band, majorettes and excellence scholarships that are geared toward first-time enrolling freshmen coming out of high school,” said Jeremy Byers, scholarship manager at financial services.

Byers said there is no maximum on the amount of scholarship money a student can receive, but the university has a policy against stacking certain scholarships.

“Scholarships for academic and leadership areas can’t be stacked,” Byers said. “If you’re eligible for more than one excellence scholarship, you’ll receive the higher of the two.”

Byers said that although students can’t stack excellence scholarships, they can stack endowed and outside scholarships.

“There’s not a limit; you can get however many scholarships you want from outside sources, but you’ll be limited on what you receive from the university in terms of federal aid,” Byers said. “Your federal aid won’t exceed the cost of attendance for one academic year.

“It’s a very student-specific situation. You can get $25,000 in scholarship money, but you won’t get any federal aid, like loans.”

Jennifer Norman, a junior at UNA, has an endowed scholarship, but also has a loan to help pay for what her scholarship does not pay.

“If the scholarship paid for the rest of my tuition, then I would get rid of the loans,” she said.

Students participating in the ROTC program can be eligible for an Army-specific scholarship that pays for tuition costs while also paying a stipend monthly.

ROTC cadets do not receive a scholarship for joining but have to apply and be accepted to one.

“My sophomore year, I joined Army ROTC,” said Bailey Johnson, a cadet. “I was interested in a scholarship, but I did not expect to receive one.”

To qualify for a ROTC scholarship, students have to meet certain criteria physically.

“Army ROTC scholarships are based not only on academic standing but on physical fitness and a few other criteria,” Johnson said.