Honors students upset over denied scholarships


Abigail Schmidt

Illustration of someone giving money to another person. Upperclassman honors students did not receive the scholarship funds that they were expecting.

Kloe Witt, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: After this article was published in print Oct. 21, 2022, Director of Undergraduate Admissions Harvey Werner reached out to The Maroon, and his comments were therefore subsequently added.

Oliver Parker said they were shocked when they received their tuition bill for the Fall 2022 semester.

Parker, a digital filmmaking honors sophomore, along with many other honors students, joined the program under the assumption that they would receive extra scholarship funds, as stated on the school’s website.

“The scholarship money was a massive part of my decision (to join the honors program). I do appreciate the rigor and specificity of the honors curriculum, but money was my primary reason for joining,” Parker said.

Parker was awarded a scholarship of $5,000, which was applied to their tuition in the 2021-2022 school year. However, when they received their financial aid package for this year, the scholarship hadn’t been applied.

Jonathan Peterson, director of the university honors program, said that, to his knowledge, this is because scholarships for honors students have changed, with the decision to end the use of the Ignatian Scholarship, which was a four-year full-tuition and housing award available only for honors students to apply for in the past, according to the archives of the Loyola scholarships website.

Peterson said that the decision to cut this scholarship, along with others students could apply for like the one Parker received, was to open a new one.

This new scholarship, listed as the Honors Scholarship, is for any incoming students of the Fall 2022 semester admitted into the honors program. According to the scholarships’ webpage, this scholarship is automatically awarded and renewable all four years.

Loyola University’s Director of Public Affairs, Patricia Murret, said that there were no changes to previous students’ tuition bills with this decision. However, she did say that this money was granted with the suspension of the Ignatian Scholarship and will be unavailable for students admitted before the fall of 2022.

Director of Undergraduate Admissions Harvey Werner said that the Ignatian scholarship was phased out in order to fund this new scholarship. Before, the Ignatian scholarship was awarded to 10 to 20 students on campus. With the new Honors program scholarship, 70 to 80 students will be awarded the funds.

Werner added that this scholarship wasn’t available for upperclassmen honors students because it was awarded through admissions.

Andrea Norwood, a sophomore history major, joined the honors program when she first applied to Loyola. The scholarship money was important, and she understood the need it held not only for herself, but also for other honors students. She said she’s upset that the school offered this scholarship to new students on the website but that returning students were never offered it.

“To not get the scholarship when it is clearly promised on the honors program website is just not fair,” Norwood said.

Peterson said that he was not made aware of these student concerns and added that the honors program itself isn’t in control of its scholarships. Financial aid is determined by the Office of Financial Aid and is typically a combination of merit-based scholarships and need-based aid, Peterson said.

Lili Link, a sophomore history major, said that she too joined the honors program specifically for the extra scholarships available to those in the program. She said she’s irritated with the school’s decision to add a new scholarship for incoming honors students and not extend the offer to other students.

“It’s not really fair for the honors students who have been going here for some time to not have access to a scholarship that incoming freshmen are getting,” Link said.

She said she feels most upset that this is happening right after her freshman year.

Amanda Duffin, a music industry studies sophomore, said that she was also unsatisfied with the decision to add this scholarship only for incoming students.

“It’s completely unfair that the new students are going to do the same amount of work yet receive an extra scholarship,” Duffin said.

Peterson said that he understands why upperclassmen would be confused over the new scholarship, even with the backlash. However, he said that he is hopeful for the potential offered by the new scholarship.

“It is really important for the university to be able to try new strategies in order to promote our recruiting success in an increasingly competitive environment, and I hope this scholarship will do that,” Peterson said.