Villanova University seeks to attract academic, civic, and culture leaders who represent diverse intellectual, social, racial, and economic backgrounds, including those from families in which few or no members have attended college. Effective with the awarding for the 2010-2011 academic year, successful candidates are awarded this renewable scholarship, which covers tuition, general fee, room, board (up to 19 meals-per-week plan) and the cost of textbooks for eight consecutive semesters. (NOTE: This scholarship can be applied only to the University’s General Fee. All other fees are the responsibility of the student. A student’s eligibility for Federal and/or State grant dollars may be applied to these fees.)
The Presidential Scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated academic achievement and active participation in their school and the broader civic community. Students must be nominated by the chief academic officer of their high school (principal, president, headmaster), guidance counselor or an official school designee. They can also be nominated by a representative from a home school entity or non-profit educational organization dedicated to helping disadvantaged high school students with the college search process.
Nominees will be expected to show evidence of superior academic performance as reflected by their high school course selection and grade point average, as well as a high level of achievement on the SAT or ACT. Candidates will also be assessed in terms of leadership, civic engagement, resiliency, creativity, and expertise in a specific field, with consideration given to a student’s demonstrated financial need. Candidates will be required to complete a series of short essays to supplement the nomination form. The average weighted high school grade point average of candidates selected as finalists for the Presidential Scholarship in the Fall 2012 entering freshman class was 4.18 (on a 4.00 scale) and the average combined SAT score (Critical Reading and Math) was 1450/1600 with ACT scores averaging 33/36. For the 2012-2013 academic year, 28 Presidential Scholarships totaling nearly $1.5 million were offered to freshman candidates.
Each year, a number of historically underrepresented students who have demonstrated leadership in their ability to make significant contributions to the academic and social cultures within their schools and communities are awarded Presidential Scholarships. Students who are African American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, American Indian/Native Alaskan, Asian/Pacific Islander or are the first in their family to pursue a college education or who come from a low income family (normally Pell Grant eligible), would be considered to be historically underrepresented. Of the 28 Presidential Scholarship offered to freshman candidates for the 2012-2013 academic year, 6 scholarships were offered to candidates who self-identified as underrepresented students totaling nearly $300,300.
Policies for Presidential Scholars
Recipients of the Presidential Scholarship are expected to participate in the University Honors Program to an extent appropriate to their course of study. Presidential Scholars receive academic advisement according to the policies established within their respective colleges. The Director of the University Honors Program will advise Presidential Scholars regarding the Honors Program curriculum, and the Director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships will provide direction with respect to opportunities for developing strong candidacy for nationally competitive scholarships. Together, these academic advisers are responsible for the intellectual and cultural development of the Presidential Scholars. The expectations for maintaining a Presidential Scholarship include the academic requirements stated below in the Presidential Scholars Academic Standing Policy , maintaining good standing under the University’s Code of Conduct, and conducting yourself in alignment with the University’s Mission and high standards of excellence Scholarships are renewable annually so that a student failing to make Dean's List in any given semester is normally placed on probation for the following semester. The final decision regarding renewal of scholarships rests with the Co-Chairs of the Presidential Scholarship Committee.
There is also a Presidential Scholarship student committee that organizes cultural events and guest speakers throughout the school year.
Presidential Scholars Academic Standing Policy
The Presidential Scholarship allows us to provide our students with the opportunity to pursue their studies and transform their lives at Villanova. This gift comes with a set of responsibilities and expectations. Presidential Scholars are academic and cultural leaders on campus, charged with embodying lives of academic excellence combined with service. Any Presidential Scholar who fails to live up to these responsibilities and expectations jeopardizes their scholarship.
In terms of the academic expectations for Presidential Scholars, they are as follows:
Each student is required to maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.33.
During their freshman year, Presidential Scholars cannot be placed on probation. If their GPA falls below 3.33, they will receive a letter of concern that requires them to meet with their advisor, who will discuss their academic performance and offer suggestions and resources. The first time they can be placed on probation is the second semester of their sophomore year.
Once on probation a student has three semesters to attain an overall GPA of 3.33 before losing the Scholarship. Each semester they are on probation, a letter is sent informing them of the fact and they are asked to meet with their academic advisor who will discuss their academic performance and offer suggestions and resources.
If a student received a letter of concern or probationary letter, they must abide by any stipulations their advisor requires or risk losing the Scholarship.
If a student’s overall GPA goes above a 3.33, she or he is removed from probation. If it falls below 3.33 again, the probationary process begins again from the beginning.
In cases where there are extenuating circumstances, exceptions can be given at the discretion of the Presidential Scholars Academic Standing Committee, particularly if a student is making good academic progress semester to semester.
Students who are on academic probation who study abroad get their probation deferred for the time they are abroad.