Independent colleges support their students

Dennis Kelly - Contributing columnist

I want to share with you one of the many elements that makes Ohio independent colleges and universities like Wilmington College distinct from their public counterparts.

Private schools support their own students.

While state/public schools are heavily subsidized by Columbus, at Ohio’s private schools, nine of every 10 first-time, full-time, student-aid grant dollars comes from the college or university itself, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Wilmington College is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio.

For the 2017-18 academic year, students at AICUO’s member schools received $400 million in institutional grants — these are funds from the individual schools they attend. That’s 90 percent of student grants, while federal grants to those students totaled $34 million (8 percent) and state/local grants were $11 million (2 percent).

One of these institutional grants at Wilmington College I’ve mentioned before — the Clinton County Succeeds loan-to-grant program in which local students can have up to $10,000 in tuition loans completely forgiven upon their graduation from WC.

There are others available to transfer students, high academic achievers, those from certain geographic areas, etc.

Now that we’re firmly onto autumn, it’s the time of year across our nation, state and community that high school students (and college students attending two-year colleges) start completing their applications to several universities and colleges with the desired outcome of being accepted into at least one of those institutions.

The key factor in applying to an institution, in my opinion, is making sure your application is complete. The definition of a complete application may differ from college to college, so be diligent in reading and re-reading the application process. A guide in applying should be outlined clearly on the institution’s website and, if available, printed application form.

Universities and colleges will always request your high school transcripts. If you are transferring from another college or university, make sure you forward all transcripts, including if you attended more than one institution.

High school graduates may also have to submit a standardized test score like the ACT or SAT.

Please note that, if a university or college does not require a standardized test score for acceptance into their institution, they may determine your scholarship award levels based on another type of evaluation.

During this process, be conscious of the application deadline and cost to apply (if applicable). Wilmington College’s application process is open for the both the Spring and Fall 2020 semesters for new incoming students and re-admits.

Next month, I will continue to share facts and data relevant to the college decision process with a focus in on scholarships and grants.

Dennis Kelly is senior vice president/chief enrollment officer at Wilmington College. A nationally known enrollment administrator, he has consulted and presented extensively on higher education and post-graduation career choices. This summer, Wilmington College garnered national recognition for its recent enrollment success by being selected national runner-up and one of three recipients of the Education Advances Award presented by Hobsons, a leader in educational technology with strategies for fostering student success. Subsequently, Hobsons named Kelly to its new Intersect Advisory Board.

Dennis Kelly

Contributing columnist