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'Full-tuition' is not 'full-ride' scholarship

Why should DU's top students pay fees

By Taylor E. Williams
On September 28, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (Sept 27, 2018) – Dillard University is a prestigious HBCU known as one of the best liberal arts colleges, with a challenging curriculum and internship opportunities that prepare undergraduates to be successful post-graduation. Accordingly, Dillard University’s tuition reflects its standing.  Even so, its top scholars are sometimes surprised that a “full-ride” scholarship and “full-tuition” scholarship are not one and the same.

Students who graduated high school with good standings academically and acceptable test scores are often offered a scholarship to attend Dillard that is funded by the institution. Incoming freshmen can possibly receive either the Student Success Scholarship, Dean’s Scholarship or the two top-tier aid packages, the University or Presidential scholarships.

All of these scholarships award a student with some type of financial aid, and the two top-tier scholarships, offered to freshmen and eligible for annual renewal, provide full paid tuition, including room and board. What they do not cover are mandatory fees, which for 2018-19 are $669.

Monica White, director of recruitment, admissions and programming, explained that the top-tier scholars are “full-tuition,” not “full-ride.” Dillard does not offer full-ride academic scholarships.

Denise Spellman, director of student financial aid and scholarships, said 29 students have university scholarships at present, adding that students have the opportunity to be considered for additional institutional scholarships after enrollment.

I consider this to be strange: that a distinguished HBCU does not even cover all expenses of attendance for even the most deserving ones.

Imagine the surprise of a high school valedictorian, who makes exceptional scores on entrance exams and who participated in numerous activities displaying leadership skills and other virtuous qualities when he or she learns this.

Some universities do provide full-ride scholarships, according to For example, Duke University offers full tuition, fees and room and board.

The University of Chicago has a scholarship that not only covers the above, but has a $10,000 enrichment fund for students who demonstrate “leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service and innovation.” The University of California offers full tuition plus a $5,000 stipend.

All in all, Dillard works hard to bring top students to its campus and award deserving students the aid they need. Nevertheless, the financial arrangements provided by the institution could be improved.

 I challenge Dillard to show it appreciates its top students by providing “full-ride” scholarships.

Taylor E. Williams
Mass Communication

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