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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

    May 9, 2016

    Northwest enhancing need-based financial aid program for 2016-2017

    Northwest Missouri State University is investing in one of its largest financial assistance programs to help students reduce their debt load and pave a more affordable path toward their degree completion.

    Northwest engaged with Enrollment Research Associates last fall to study its financial assistance and scholarship programs. As a result of the findings, Northwest is making slight changes to how it awards financial aid for the 2016-2017 academic year.

    On a pilot basis, Northwest is altering its new merit awards by adding a grade-point average floor for incoming freshmen. The change provides some savings that Northwest is investing in need-based financial aid for continuing students.

    For students who qualify for Northwest’s American Dream Grant, Northwest is extending eligibility for Missouri residents by one year, allowing sophomore students to remain eligible to receive the American Dream Grant as juniors.

    The change fills a financial gap for 130 Northwest students, Northwest Dean of Enrollment Management Beverly Schenkel said. Northwest is investing nearly $120,000 in the extension.

    Northwest established the first-of-its-kind American Dream Grant program in 2004 as a needs-based financial aid initiative to assist undergraduate students who might otherwise find a college education beyond their financial reach.

    “We are keeping that commitment to students with financial need,” Schenkel said. “We are a state institution committed to providing access to a higher education for all students.”

    While improving college completion is a key intent of the initiatives, Schenkel said Northwest also is encouraged by the success of several other programs and initiatives implemented by Northwest in recent years. Among them are living and academic learning communities established to place students in shared majors on designated floors in residence halls, theme-based University Seminar courses, academic success coaches and regular grade assessments.

    With an enrollment of 6,600 students, Northwest boasts a 59 percent graduation rate, which is in the 85th percentile of the University’s national peer group. In addition, 98 percent of Northwest bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data.

    Northwest provides financial assistance to 90 percent of its first-time, full-time freshman. Textbooks and a laptop also are included in tuition, which is among the lowest in the state, saving students an estimated $7,200 over four years. Northwest also offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to build professional skills through its internationally benchmarked student employment program.

    For more information, please contact:

    Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

    Northwest Missouri State University
    215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468