In the first summer of the pilot Wings Up Summer Tuition Grant program, enrollment at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) in San Antonio, Texas rose 108 percent from the previous summer and 99 percent of students in the program returned for the fall semester.
Designed to help students stay on track to graduate, the program provided up to eight credit hours of free tuition for eligible juniors and seniors. Largely as a result of the program, student summer credit hours increased 135 percent from the previous year.
Wings Up grant students successfully completed 95 percent of their summer courses with a cumulative GPA of 3.26. OLLU paid approximately $500,000 for the program, which “was designed to fast-forward students to graduation,” said Dr. Rosa Rivera-Hainaj, assistant vice president of academic affairs. “Based on preliminary data, we can say that it did meet the primary objective as 10 percent of awardees completed their undergraduate studies at OLLU by the end of the 2018 summer session.”
Of the 120 students who enrolled in the program, 12 graduated and 107 came back to school this semester.
In 2017, 125 undergraduates enrolled in summer classes. This past summer, 261 undergraduates enrolled in summer classes, of which 120 were awarded the summer grant. Summer enrollment of non-awarded students increased 12.8 percent. The students in the Wings Up program paid for an additional 39 credit hours not funded by the grant.
“The OLLU administration has approved the program for summer 2019,” Dr. Rivera-Hainaj said. “Additionally, we are working with programs to increase the number of summer course offerings that meet the needs of juniors and seniors.”