NEWS from

Centenary to Expand State TOPS Scholarship Program
To Award FULL-TUITION Scholarships to Top Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Tuesday, September 23,1997)
Contact: Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service
318-869-5120 or 869-5709

"Now Centenary is as affordable as any school in the country,"

-- President Kenneth L. Schwab

SHREVEPORT, LA -- Centenary College announced today that it will become the first private college in Louisiana to combine the State of Louisiana's innovative "TOPS" grants with sufficient funds to offer full-tuition to next year's top freshmen.

"Now Centenary is as affordable as any school in the country," said Centenary President Kenneth L. Schwab.

Louisiana's Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) goes into effect for next year's college freshmen, offering scholarships to students who meet certain requirements and attend any college or university in the state. Under the TOPS "Honors Award" program, high school students must have an ACT of at least 27 and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5, as well as the required 16.5 core units in high school.

Louisiana's new plan "is the best program in the nation right now -- better than New York or California -- because it is not need-based," said Joel Wincowski, Centenary's dean of enrollment management. "Now it is being expanded by Centenary, and these top students can receive full tuition at one of the top-ranked colleges in the South and one of the nation's best-value private institutions."

Wincowski said that the students who qualify under the TOPS Honors Award program and meet Centenary's admissions guidelines will be awarded a total combined scholarship equal to full tuition, which this year is $11,050 at Centenary. "I have had personal visits with several of our local schools in recent days and the response to this proposal has been tremendous," Wincowski said.

The awards will be renewable for four years and will require the student to maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average at Centenary.

Centenary will also offer a second award plan -- valued at $8,000 -- related to other TOPS awards for good students who do not meet the Honors Award requirements. Students who qualify for other TOPS awards and the Centenary matching program must meet all state and Centenary requirements, have at least a 21 ACT and a cumulative GPA of 2.5, along with the required core courses.

"These renewable four-year awards require that the student maintain a 2.5 cumulative grade-point average at Centenary," Wincowski said. Although the programs are not need-based, students who qualify for more financial aid could receive that as well, he said.

"We understand that the state of Louisiana will fund all qualified students attending either public or private colleges in Louisiana at an amount equal to the average tuition for four-year Louisiana universities," Wincowski said.

To be eligible for either of the Centenary awards, the student must apply to Centenary by Dec. 1, 1997 and file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form by Feb. 15, 1998. Application fees will be waived for these students, Wincowski said.

For further information, contact the Centenary Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 318-869-5131 or 800-234-4448.

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