Ole Miss Boosts Amounts of Leadership Scholarships

Increases honor achievement and persistence, should benefit hundreds of families annually

OXFORD, Miss. – For hundreds of high school student body presidents, valedictorians and salutatorians; Eagle Scouts; and participants in Mississippi Boys State and Girls State, a University of Mississippi education just became a much better value.The university has increased the amounts for several of its “leadership scholarships” by 50 percent. A new scholarship also has been created for any entering freshman who participated in Mississippi Boys State or Girls State.

The idea is to recognize high-achieving students and encourage them to continue to aim high, said Whitman Smith, Ole Miss director of enrollment services.

“It’s a deserved reward for students who have gone above and beyond,” Smith said. “They should be recognized for being leaders, and they should have an incentive to come to a school where they can continue to develop their leadership skills in an academic atmosphere that will challenge them and give them what they need to achieve their full potential.”

Beginning this fall, entering freshmen who were student body presidents, valedictorians or salutatorians, Eagle Scouts or Girl Scouts of America Gold Award recipients qualify for $6,000 scholarships, up from $4,000, over four years ($1,500 per year). Mississippi Boys State and Girls State participants are eligible for awards of $500 for their freshman year.

The increases should benefit hundreds of families annually. Last fall, for example, nearly 90 Eagle Scouts and Gold Award recipients enrolled as new freshmen at Ole Miss.

The university’s financial aid officers have advocated increasing these scholarships because the level of achievement they honor is “a good predictor of persistence, vision and the ability to get things done,” said Laura Diven-Brown, the university’s director of financial aid.

Two other scholarships – one for freshmen who were named as governor for their state’s Boys State or Girls State, or who were their state’s delegate to Boys Nation or Girls Nation, and another for freshmen who were selected among the top 20 All-Star Scholars by the Mississippi Economic Council – get awards of $4,000 over four years ($1,000 annually).

“This caliber of student is the kind we really want to have on campus,” Diven-Brown said. “Not only will they benefit from an Ole Miss education, but it’s great to have them in our classes and participating in activities with other students. They bring experiences and leadership abilities that can benefit everybody else on campus.”

Get more information on scholarship opportunities at UM, or call 800-891-4596.