Focus, Scholars Weekend changing formats

This year will bring multiple student life changes to Union’s campus.

Starting this month, Union will be making changes to the Scholars of Excellence program. The minimum ACT score has been lowered to a 29 and the minimum SAT score has been lowered to a 1290.

The scholarships being awarded are also changing. Instead of a percentage of tuition, the scholars will be awarded a set amount each year. One student will still receive full tuition, room and board. The rest of the awards are divided into five levels ranging from $28,200 per year to $12,000 per year. More specific award information can be found on the Scholars of Excellence webpage.

Due to changes in score requirements, more prospective students are eligible to attend these weekends.

Therefore, Union will be hosting two separate Scholars of Excellence Weekends. Competition weekend dates are Feb. 20-21 and Feb. 27-28.

“It’s a very overwhelming weekend,” says Lydia Atchley, sophomore conservation biology major and student ambassador. “Making it two weekends will make it less overwhelming and more personable.”

The class of 2019 will have a much different orientation experience than any previous class. This summer, Union will hold three separate student orientations: May 1-2, June 8-9 and July 13-14. Students will meet with an academic advisor, go to sessions for student life and get the chance to stay overnight in the dorms. Parents will also attend sessions of their own.

Karen Taylor, associate director of student leadership and engagement, said these changes will allow new students to experience elements of campus life that they haven’t in the past.

“Really, it’s just giving the students access to more resources before they come and more connection to Union,” said Taylor.

Focus weekend will also take on a new form due to the summer orientation changes. The weekend before classes will now be called Welcome Week. Since students will get more extensive orientation in the summer, Taylor said Welcome Week will focus more on “extending hospitality to the new students during their transition.”

About Meg Rushing 12 Articles
Meg Rushing is a member of the 2016 graduating class. She is a public relations major with a minor in photojournalism. Meg enjoys photography, art, and music.