By Kayla Garner, Staff Reporter
Grant Greenwood has been the director of Admissions and Recruiting at Hardin-Simmons University for the past eight years. Greenwood and his department have developed a new admissions program that went into effect this September for the incoming applicants of Fall 2020. This new program is known as the Recommended Scholars Program.
Any student applying to HSU from a high school in the Big Country has the opportunity to benefit from the Recommended Scholars Program. Through the program, high school counselors and administrators from the 20-plus counties of the Big Country are able to recommend students of their choice to HSU. These recommendations are made for students that high school counselors and administrators believe will succeed and thrive here at HSU.
The recommendations are used by HSU as a way to identify quality students that would do well at HSU. These recommendations are also a way for students who would succeed in college but have lower standardized test scores to have easier access to higher education.
The high school counselor/administrator’s recommendations are submitted to HSU as a part of the student’s application. The recommendation can be submitted in place of a student’s standardized test scores for the ACT and SAT. However, students are still required to submit their GPA and transcript.
The recommendation can also be used as a way to obtain academic scholarships from HSU. All students receive some form of scholarship from HSU, most commonly an academic scholarship. Academic scholarships are typically awarded based on a student’s test scores and GPA. However, with the new Recommended Scholars Program, there are three new scholarships that are awarded based on the student’s recommendation and their GPA. ACT and SAT scores are not required to receive these three scholarships.
According to Greenwood, the nation and the college community rely far too heavily on standardized tests like the ACT and SAT. Greenwood explained that research actually shows that a student’s GPA is a much better indication of college success.
There are many reasons a student could do great in the classroom and not do well on a standardized test. The stress of taking such an important test, life circumstances and a student’s lack of access to practice test materials can all impact the outcome of a student’s standardized test score.
This fact is one of the main reasons Greenwood decided to start the Recommended Scholars Program. The program’s main goal is to enroll as many students and to provide as many deserving and qualified people with education as possible.
According to Greenwood, close to 30 students have already been recommended to HSU. While the program currently only includes the schools of the Big Country, Greenwood hopes to expand the program as soon as possible.