February 05, 2014

SIU hosts top students for scholarship interviews

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University and the Carbondale community will welcome more than 560 high-achieving high school seniors and nearly 1,000 family members on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7 and 8, for the Chancellor’s and University Excellence Scholarship Interview Weekend. The students and families are coming from Illinois and 37 other states. 

In addition to interviewing for the university’s top scholarships, students will join family members to tour campus, participate in mini-classes, attend informational sessions, and visit a campus expo to learn about services and student organizations. More than 200 of the students will stay overnight in campus residence halls. 

“We’re very pleased with the large turnout, which reflects greater awareness and growing levels of interest in SIU among the best and brightest students,” Chancellor Rita Cheng said. “Our goal is not only to identify our top scholarship recipients, but also to give all of our candidates a sense of the vibrancy of campus life and breadth of opportunities at SIU.” 

Nearly 50 additional students interviewed for scholarships on alternate dates, bringing the total number of candidates for fall 2014 scholarships to more than 600. All of the candidates have been admitted to SIU and were invited to the interview weekend based on their ACT scores, academic credentials and high school activities. 

“These students will bring tremendous leadership skills to our university and serve as wonderful role models for fellow students,” Cheng said. “We have been Beta-testing a program with current Chancellor’s Scholars that includes specialized activities, leadership training, and a service component. Based on this experience, we plan to formalize and expand the program next academic year.” 

SIU will award 40 Chancellor’s Scholarships, which cover tuition, fees and room and board for four years, and a significant number of University Excellence Scholarships, which cover tuition for four years. 

Last year, 422 students participated in scholarship interview weekend.