Since assuming the presidency of EKU in July 1998, Dr. Bob Kustra has placed increased emphasis on raising academic standards and attracting more of the best and brightest students from Kentucky and beyond.
The new focus on academics is producing results. Eastern is reforming and strengthening its general education curriculum, the first two years of collegiate work. A new Center for Teaching and Learning devoted to improving the quality of instruction and learning will open this spring semester. EKU's Honors Program, now more than 300 students strong, has achieved national recognition. And now funding for academic scholarships has been significantly increased.
Thanks to the generosity of the Eastern Kentucky University Foundation, President Kustra has announced an innovative new program that will expand the number of scholarships for academically talented students who enroll at EKU for the 2000-2001 academic year.
The EKU Presidential Initiative Scholarship Program will allow EKU to offer an additional 225 one-time awards of up to $1,000 and 37 two-year renewable $1,000 scholarships next fall. The program is funded by the Eastern Kentucky University Foundation and its donors through a distribution of excess earnings above the Foundation's usual scholarship distribution.
"The Council on Postsecondary Education has set increased goals for enrollment and this is one of EKU's strategies to attract more students," Kustra said. "It focuses not just on increased enrollment, but on the enrollment of an increasing number of academically talented students.
"This new scholarship initiative underscores our commitment to academic excellence and our desire to provide support and exceptional learning opportunities for students who are serious about learning," he said.
The program creates five new awards for the 2000-2001 academic year:
** The EKU Freshman Resident Achievement Scholarship. These one-time awards for first-time, first-year EKU students of up to $1,000 for the academic year are available to Kentucky residents who are in the top third of their high school graduating class and have a 3.5 or better grade point average.
** The EKU Freshman Non-Resident Achievement Scholarship. Available only to non-Kentucky residents, the qualifications and criteria are the same as the Freshman Resident Achievement Scholarship.
** The EKU Transfer Scholarship. These one-time awards of up to $1,000 for the academic year are offered to first-time EKU students who transfer to the University with a minimum of 30 hours from an accredited college or university, 3.0 grade point average and two letters of recommendation.
** The Colonel Leadership Scholarship. These two-year renewable awards of up to $1,000 for the academic year recognize Kentucky high school graduates who have demonstrated leadership and achievement, earned a minimum 3.0 high school grade point average and provided two letters of recommendation from high school officials. The scholarship is designed for first-time EKU students and may be renewed for the sophomore year provided the recipient maintains a 2.5 grade point average.
** The Adult Achievement Scholarship. Designed for adult learners who have been out of high school at least three years, these two-year renewable awards of up to $1,000 for the academic year are available to students who must have at least 12 credit hours earned at EKU, a 3.25 grade point average and who are enrolled for at least six semester hours.
"The Eastern Kentucky University Foundation, through the generosity of its donors, provides private funds to address needs at EKU not provided for by state funding," said Robert B. Morgan, president and chief executive officer of Cincinnati Financial Corp. and EKU Foundation chairman. "We are pleased to make these additional monies available to help even more qualified students pursue a quality postsecondary education at EKU."
The application deadline for all awards is April 1, except for the Adult Achievement Scholarship deadline, which is May 30. For an application, or for more information, contact EKU's Division of Financial Assistance at 606-622-2361 or, toll-free in Kentucky, 800-262-7493.