Hoping to lure more out-of state students, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette plans to implement a new scholarship program next school year that will give a tuition break to students whose parents attended any Louisiana college or university.
UL-Lafayette has previously allowed students living in other states with alumni parents to take advantage of in-state tuition rates.
The discount is substantial. Tuition and fees for Louisiana residents costs about $9,300, compared to more than $23,000 for out-of-state students.
“Our goal is mainly to bring as many kids home, who want to go to UL, (as we can),” said DeWayne Bowie, Ph.D., vice president for enrollment management.
Bowie explained the idea to expand the scholarship came from speaking with alumni and representatives of other universities while recruiting in states like Texas, Mississippi and Florida. He said UL-Lafayette has become a “nationwide brand” and university officials wanted to cater more to out-of-state students.
After speaking with alumni and other recruiters, Bowie said the goal became making UL-Lafayette a cost-competitive university. Cutting costs for out-of-state students with Louisiana ties would further that goal.
This scholarship, unlike others, is being processed through the Registrar’s Office. Mickey Diez, the university registrar, explained this is because the Registrar’s Office handles residency procedures for all students.
“The decision was made to have this scholarship, as far as the processing goes, come through the same office just for consistency’s sake,” Diez said.
Students with questions are welcome to call the university now, but staff won’t begin processing applications until the summer. The scholarship is not just for freshmen — current students can also apply.
In the fall 2016 semester, 1,442 out-of-state students attended UL-Lafayette, according to the school website. It wasn't immediately clear how many would qualify for the tuition discount.
In an effort to accommodate as many students as possible, there is no limit on how many of these "Legacy scholarships" the university will award.
“At this time it’s just based on eligibility,” Diez said. “So if a student applies, they submit all of the required documentation to us proving they’re eligible, then we will go ahead and award that (scholarship) to the student.”
Students will be required to submit three documents related to the scholarship. They need a letter from their parent’s alma mater verifying his or her graduation, a copy of their birth certificate to prove relation and a cover letter with their name, phone number and student identification number.
Bowie said he won’t set any specific goals this year because he’s waiting to see how many students are interested.
“We just want to put it out there and see what kind of attention we get,” he said.
Diez added the feedback his office has been receiving from students is “very encouraging.”