Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.15
Liaison Leslie North
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Western Kentucky University
PA-7: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 4.00 Christian Ryan
Sustainability Coordinator
WKU
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:
Yes

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

WKU strives to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students through loans, scholarships, and grants. The Student Government Association also offers scholarships to students for assistance with costs of attendance during Winter and Summer terms, which other loans may not cover.
The WKU TOPDollar Scholarship source provides a complete list of all scholarship opportunities that are available for students at Western Kentucky University.


A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

As described below, there are many programs and services to support students from low-income backgrounds. Faculty and staff are able to refer students to any of these services where they will receive support from dedicated faculty and staff.


A brief description of the institution’s programs to guide and prepare students and families from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

TRIO is a set of federally-funded college opportunity programs that motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their pursuit of a college degree. Over 850,000 low-income, first-generation students and students with disabilities — from sixth grade through college graduation — are served by more than 2,800 programs nationally. TRIO programs provide academic tutoring, personal counseling, mentoring, financial guidance, and other supports necessary for educational access and retention. TRIO programs provide direct support services for students, and relevant training for directors and staff.
Currently, six TRIO Programs are located on the WKU campus. All six programs are designed to assist low income and/or first generation college students. One of the program targets students within the region. The success rates (college completion) of these programs are significant and inspiring.


A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Western Kentucky University offers a variety of scholarships to qualifying students including Merit Scholarships, Tuition Incentive Program (TIP), Departmental Scholarships and Alumni Grants. Scholarships are available to Freshmen, returning students and transfer students from community or junior colleges. Some scholarships from WKU are renewable each academic year while others are awarded one time only.


A brief description of the institution’s targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

Please see the description of the TRIO program above.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

WKU now houses the Center for Financial Success. The mission of the Center is to improve financial literacy for students by sharing the expertise of a resident Certified Financial Planner on a host of topics regarding financial success. The Center participates in various on campus workshops, seminars and presentations to share their knowledge.WKU-Online is actively collaborating with the Center for Financial Success to bring these experiences to our online community by recording the events and making them available on our Youtube channel.


Does the institution have policies and programs to support non-traditional students?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:

A variety of scholarships and grants are available for part-time, non-traditional, and distance learners. Information about these opportunities can be reviewed here:
https://www.wku.edu/online/srp/financial-aid.php
Credit by exam is offered through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and may provide cost-effective and time-efficient options for non-traditional learners.
Senior Citizen Scholarships are also available at WKU.


A brief description of the institution’s on-site child care facility, partnership with a local facility, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:

Western Kentucky University Child Care Centers (WKUCCC) operates a combination Early Head Start, Head Start and Non-Profit Child Care Program for children six weeks through five years of age. WKUCCC is a unit of Training & Technical Assistance Services (T/TAS), a department in the College of Education & Behavioral Sciences.

The Western Kentucky University Child Care Resource and Referral is a community based organization that is dedicated to increasing the quality and accessibility of early care and education services for children.


A brief description of the institution’s other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

WKU offers comprehensive programming to support adult adult learners. Information can be found here, and a sampling of support service are listed below,
https://www.wku.edu/online/srp/adult-learners.php

WKU's Faculty Center for Excellence in Training offers a workshop, "Issues and Challenges: Non-Traditional Students." This workshop helps faculty understand how to meet the needs of non-traditional students.
WKU also has a Women in Transition Program that provides a computers lab (computers and printer), lounge, and kitchen for women in the program. This program serves to provide a space where women can support each other and have access to the technology necessary to succeed.
WKU offers an increasing variety of distance learning programs that are designed for non-traditional students. These include both undergraduate courses and entire graduate programs and certificates.
A success coaching program for non-traditional students, Coaching for Academic Readiness and Excellence program is available for adult learners.
WKU now houses the Center for Financial Success. The mission of the Center is to improve financial literacy for students by sharing the expertise of a resident Certified Financial Planner on a host of topics regarding financial success. The Center participates in various on campus workshops, seminars and presentations to share their knowledge.WKU-Online is actively collaborating with the Center for Financial Success to bring these experiences to our online community by recording the events and making them available on their Youtube channel.


Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (tracking accessibility and affordability)? (If data is not available, select 'No'):
Yes

The percentage of entering students that are low-income (0-100):
41

The graduation/success rate for low-income students (0-100):
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On average, the percentage of need that was met for students who were awarded any need-based aid (e.g. as reported to the U.S. Common Data Set initiative, item H2) (0-100):
34

The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt or for whom no out-of-pocket tuition is required (i.e. the percentage of graduates who have not taken out interest-bearing loans) (0-100):
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Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students (0-100):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.