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TIU Presidential Scholars Weekend attracts top high school students

Trinity CommunicationsJanuary 26, 2019

Photo by Meredith Denning

Students interact in a panel discussion during Presidential Scholars Weekend. Photo by Meredith Denning.

The Trinity International University Presidential Scholars Weekend Jan. 25-26 brought 31 high-achieving high school seniors to the Deerfield campus to compete for the University’s top scholarships.

Luke Frost came to the event from Canon City, Colorado, where he is enrolled in TIU’s dual credit program with Worldview at the Abbey. Frost is originally from Zimbabwe, a nation to which he said he’d like to relocate after studying business in college.

All participating students competed for TIU undergraduate awards such as the Presidential or Kantzer Scholarships for undergraduate study (covering tuition, room, board and required fees), the Regents or Ruud Scholarships (full tuition and required fees), the Dean’s Scholarships ($20,000), and the Faculty Scholarships ($17,000). The awards are annual and renewable if the students maintain quality grades.

Students come from a variety of urban and rural settings. Annie Knowlton came to Presidential Scholars Weekend from Waupun, Wisconsin, population 11,340.

“In Waupun, you see people you know when you go to the grocery store,” Knowlton said. “At Trinity, I feel like people are close because it’s easy to find your friends.”

Beyond the close-knit community, Knowlton said she sees an even bigger advantage to studying here.

“I love how grounded Trinity is in its faith and in its values, staying true to what the Bible says and not swaying from that,” Knowlton said.

Students who visit campus for this event typically have scholarship offers from a variety of schools. The group’s average ACT score is 29, with an unweighted grade-point average of 3.83. The participants came to Deerfield from nine different states; 16 are female, 15 are male.

Judges evaluated each contestant in three settings: a personal interview, participation in a group discussion of prominent public issues, and a timed essay-writing assignment. Award announcements begin early next month.

Invitees automatically qualify for the competition if accepted into the undergraduate Honors Program. They can also qualify for an invitation if they have earned a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.75 on a four-point scale, as well as a score of 28 or higher on the ACT, or at least a 1310 score on the SAT critical reading and math sections. In addition, all students must be accepted for fall 2019 admission.

“This event is a highlight of the year for us,” director of undergraduate admissions Christine Anderson said. “We enjoy meeting these students and their parents, and celebrating the great academic work they have done in high school. This weekend is a great way to show them how they can benefit from a Trinity education.”

Lanae Lundt, who also came from the Worldview at the Abbey program, agrees that the weekend is about more than competition and meeting new people.

“I think this has given me a really good picture of what Trinity might look like,” Lundt said. “I keep thinking these are the conversations I could be having in and out of class next year.”

Caleb Wells came to the event from Royal Palm Beach, Florida, and faced below-normal temperatures upon arrival.

“It’s a little bit of a shock,” Wells said with a smile. “When we left, it was 80 degrees, and when we got here, it was -8 degrees, so almost a 90-degree change.”

Wells said his parents, who joined him on the trip, are adjusting to the idea of their son living in another part of the country. He added that the weekend has been a lot of fun.

“I’m getting to meet a lot of new people,” Wells said. “A lot of really smart people.”

For more information about undergraduate admissions and available financial aid, go to tiu.edu/admissions.

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