Radford University announces $13 million investment in new scholarship program

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Radford University announced the establishment of the Highlander Distinction Program, a four-year, renewable scholarship for incoming students studying on the main campus, on Monday.

Through the program, the University will invest approximately $13 million in new financial aid to be awarded over the next four years.

President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. said the program is the first of its kind at RU.

“This significant investment, which is unprecedented in Radford University’s storied history, speaks to our continued efforts to recruit and retain high-quality students who enter our campus as curious scholars and aspiring professionals and leave our campus as subject matter experts and strong citizen leaders,” said Hemphill. “This new program is a direct reflection of the University’s unwavering dedication to student success through transformational experiences both in and out of the classroom.”

The Highlander Distinction Program will offer both merit-based and need-based awards, as well as a combination of both award types. The awards, which are available to both in-state and out-of-state students, are renewable throughout an undergraduate student’s four years with a 3.0 GPA requirement for continued eligibility.

Vice President for Enrollment Management Craig Cornell said the new scholarship program puts the focus on academic achievement.

“The program’s eligibility model aligns with Radford University’s strong focus on academic achievement with awards available throughout the undergraduate experience,” he said. “Freshman students entering for the 2020-2021 academic year will be the first recipients and comprise the program’s inaugural cohort. Initial award notifications will be distributed within the next two weeks to the first set of Highlander Distinction scholars.”

In addition to existing University-funded scholarships and the significant investment in the Highlander Distinction Program, Radford students are expected to receive more than $2 million in scholarships made possible by generous donors through the Radford University Foundation during the 2020-2021 academic year. The Foundation’s level of scholarship funding has doubled in the past decade due to increased funding from dedicated supporters. In combination with other existing forms of financial aid, such as state and federal initiatives, the Highlander Distinction Program represents a substantial step forward in keeping a Radford University education accessible, affordable and attainable for future students and their families.