Officials from the University of Prince Edward Island announced a major undergraduate scholarship initiative to a group of Island high school students today that is designed to put the focus strongly on student achievement.
“UPEI is excited to continue its tradition of recognizing student academic excellence through our new ‘Celebrating Student Achievement’ program,” said UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “This program will reward the academic excellence of students upon entrance to, as well as throughout their undergraduate studies at UPEI. Both incoming and current students will be motivated to do well and continue to do well, as they will know automatically at what level they will be rewarded.”
UPEI has a strong tradition in offering named, donor-funded scholarships and awards—there are over 700—but the “Celebrating Student Achievement” scholarship program enhances the current program by offering “Guaranteed Entrance Scholarships”for students entering UPEI directly from high school and “Academic Excellence Awards” for any UPEI undergraduate students who meet the grade scale criteria during their second, third, and fourth years. There are four levels of awards, from $500–$3000 per year, based on a student’s average from the previous year.
President Abd-El-Aziz, UPEI Student Union President Anastasia Smallwood and Vice President Travis Gordon, and UPEI Registrar Kathy Kielly unveiled the scholarship program to over 150 Westisle Composite High School students Wednesday afternoon. Other UPEI staff and faculty met with school principals across PEI earlier in the day to give them details about the initiative.
The program, which is renewable, will automatically recognize a greater number of undergraduate students because it includes students entering first year, as well as current students, and expands eligibility to those with a minimum average of 80 per cent. Click here for more information on the new program.
After conducting environmental scans, meeting with the UPEI Student Union, hearing from high school administrators, and receiving endorsement from the UPEI Board of Governors, Senate, and Student Union, UPEI knew it was time to restructure the way it looked at awards.
Smallwood added, “The Student Union had identified some gaps and we were really pleased that we were able to collaborate with UPEI to come up with a fair, competitive program that will reward so many more students as they enter UPEI and as they continue through to graduation. We are also pleased that current students who received a full tuition scholarship in the past are not affected.”
“What is really exciting is that these new awards are ‘stackable’ along with other named, donated scholarships,” said Gordon, “and the Academic Excellence Awards are accessible to students entering their second, third, and fourth year of study, regardless of their residency.”
For Island students, the “Celebrating Student Achievement” awards can be combined with the first-year George Coles Bursary ($2200), second- and third-year Island Student Award ($400, $600), and Graduate Award ($2000) available to PEI residents.
Incoming students are still encouraged to apply before March 1st so that they will receive full consideration for all scholarships in addition to the automatic “Guaranteed Entrance Scholarships.”