By Phoebe Doscher and Benjamin Pontz
Gettysburg College has introduced a new merit scholarship geared towards incoming students with records of civic engagement. The Eisenhower Scholarship, named for the 34th President of the United States and namesake of the college’s public policy institute, represents the highest merit-based offering to incoming students at $40,000 per year. Approximately ten members of the Class of 2024, for which the college is currently accepting applications, will receive the renewable award.
Unlike the college’s other merit scholarships, the Eisenhower Scholarship requires prospective students to submit a separate application detailing their record of civic engagement, why civic engagement is important to them, and how their engagement will leave a “lasting legacy,” the application says.
The college will continue to offer its other four merit scholarships: Lincoln (which was previously the top award), Presidential, David Wills, and 1832 Founders, the values of which have increased for incoming students to $32,000, $27,000, $24,000, and $15,000 respectively. For the class of 2020, which enrolled four years ago, the values remain at $25,000, $15,000, $10,000, and $7,000 respectively. The value of merit scholarships do not change commensurate with annual tuition increases.
Eisenhower Scholarship Program
The scholarship aims to recognize students who are transforming their communities and are active participants in civic engagement “locally, nationally, and/or internationally,” college marketing material says. Similar to the Lincoln Scholar program, Eisenhower Scholars will be paired with an upper-class mentor interested in civic engagement and will have the option to attend a pre-orientation program.
They will also take a First-Year Seminar during the fall semester on a topic related to civic engagement as well as a spring semester civic engagement series, and have an opportunity to register for courses early.
Eisenhower Scholars must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA at the end of each academic year to retain the scholarship.
According to college spokesperson Jamie Yates, the scholarship aligns with Gettysburg’s values of responsibility and service, and encourages students to enhance and support civic institutions in our democracy, continuing the work students do in their communities at home when they arrive at Gettysburg.
“By participating in both a First-Year Seminar on a topic related to civic engagement in the fall and a Civic Engagement Series in the spring, recipients of this scholarship will continue to learn, engage, and grow both personally and professionally and ignite change once they graduate,” she said.
Yates emphasized that Gettysburg College will continue to allot upwards of $65 million in financial aid to students across its merit and need-based financial aid programs. The new scholarship specifically aims to celebrate and encourage students to bring an attitude of making change to the college.
“We have had a long history of civic engagement here at the College, but it is naturally ingrained within all of us as individuals before we step foot on campus. This scholarship recognizes those individuals who are already showcasing our values and transforming their communities in their own ways,” Yates said.
“This scholarship recognizes those individuals who are already showcasing our values and transforming their communities in their own ways.” -Jamie Yates
In his September inaugural address, President Bob Iuliano signaled similar themes as institutional values for the college.
“The health of our civic institutions requires engaged citizens ready and able to exercise their voice thoughtfully and responsibly,” he said. “When this College, and institutions like it, graduate broadly educated students with the skills and determination to get involved, we have every reason to believe that our country’s fragile democratic experiment may long endure.”
This article originally appeared on page 7 of the December 6, 2019 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.