Grad photo for tuition

A Northwest graduate-to-be attends the University's delayed commencement ceremony at Bearcat Stadium Aug. 8. The University canceled its winter commencement ceremonies, scheduled for Nov. 20-22, a week before they were set to take place.

This past December, Northwest Admissions offered a free tuition giveaway for the 2021-22 academic year for incoming undergraduate freshmen and first-time transfer students. 

Any student who applied for admission by Dec. 11 and met the guidelines for the giveaway was automatically entered to win up to 30 free credit hours worth of tuition. Executive Director of Student Recruitment Jeremy Waldeier explained this award was made to encourage students to apply for admission earlier. 

“Gaining admission early helps reduce the risk of students missing key deadline dates, which are critical when navigating the college selection process,” Waldeier said. 

Prospective students who applied have to meet the guidelines and the multiple rules set by the Northwest recruitment team. A few of these rules are that the student must live on campus, not be a University employee and not be an online student.

All students who are eligible have the same chance of winning since they are chosen at random. On Dec. 11 Josh Higgins was chosen as the winner of the 2021-22 giveaway. 

The possibility of this giveaway being renewed for the 2022-23 academic year is up to what the admissions recruitment team decides to do to help boost enrollment. 

“This is a yearly decision,” Waldeier said. “We discuss our recruitment strategies and decide whether to continue the promotion for upcoming academic years.” 

Other than this giveaway through admissions, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid offers other opportunities. The standard scholarship application is available to all Northwest students and is another way for students to get financial assistance. 

Financial aid counselor Rachel Roush said filling out this one application is an easy way for students to apply for Northwest departmental and foundational scholarships. When filling out the application, the information is immediately taken and applied for all scholarships a given student mets the requirements of.

“Some of the scholarships look for groups and activities that you’re in, awards or something else that you’ve completed,” Roush said. 

There are 488 scholarships that are found on the application through Catpaws. Based on the criteria set for each individual award, students can apply for scholarships specific to their major or year in school. 

“Each department looks for something different,” Roush said. “A lot of times they look for merit, where you’re from and your grade level.” 

Though it is one standard application, it needs to be filled out every year for students to be eligible to receive new awards. Director of Financial Assistance Charles Mayfield said that there are 15 to 30 new scholarships added depending on the year and with every year the questions could change on the application.

“Since the application is dynamic and includes skip logic, a student could be asked different questions each year depending on which scholarships they appear to qualify for across different years,” Mayfield said.

Applications are due Feb. 1 to be eligible for any awards for the 2021-22 academic year. This is the only application for many departmental and foundational scholarships, so students are encouraged to apply to make sure they will be considered for this award. 

“There aren’t a ton of people applying,” Roush said. “It’s just Northwest students and not every student applies. You may have more of a chance than those national scholarships everyone is applying to.”

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