Kaitlyn Aldridge was thrilled to be awarded a scholarship at SLCC that would pay her full tuition. After serving a short term in the student government, SLCC took her scholarship away.
There were some standards she was expected to keep, and the school made her aware of these, but still losing the scholarship hurt Aldridge.
“I’ll be honest, I was pretty bitter. I felt like they didn’t appreciate all the work I had done for them,” Aldridge says.
Aldridge received the Student Life and Leadership scholarship after applying for a spot on the activities committee at SLCC’s Taylorsville-Redwood Campus. She was accepted and began working with the team there. She showed the skills and leadership qualities advisers were looking for. Aldridge was offered a position as Chair of the Student Senate at the Jordan Campus.
Aldridge had previous experience in the student government and figured it was a great opportunity. She accepted the position. Along with this position she received the scholarship from SLCC. She also took on a lot of new responsibilities.
“On average I would say that senate members are working about 10-20 hours a week outside of other school responsibilities. It kept me pretty busy,” Aldridge says.
Aldridge felt strongly about her role as a student leader and wanted to help make campus life better for students any way she could.
“We were basically in charge of fixing student problems. We would go around and ask questions or pass out surveys to see what the students thought needed to be fixed.”
There are certain eligibility requirements a student must meet to be awarded this scholarship and Aldridge fit the criteria.
“This scholarship is for incoming freshmen who have never been to college before and it is a leadership position. Depending on applications I would say SLCC gives out about 15-20 of these scholarships every year,” says Student Life and Leadership Coordinator Joan Christiansen.
The scholarship also has specific requirements students must meet in order to maintain their status.
“Students are required to keep a 3.0 GPA and dedicate at least 10 hours a week to our office in order to maintain the scholarship,” Christiansen says.
Aldridge was fortunate enough to have been awarded the scholarship, but after just two semesters it was taken away from her. Her grades had gone below the 3.0 requirements. She received a D in math class and that was the deal-breaker.
“My adviser told me that I had lost my scholarship and there was really nothing I could do. He didn’t offer any options like a probationary period or an appeal. I found out later I could have filed an appeal,” Aldridge says.
There are certain measures in place for students in such a situation to save their scholarships, measures Aldridge was not aware of.
“If students go below a 3.0 they can appeal and try to explain why they deserve to keep their scholarship or why their grades went below the requirement. If a student is granted their appeal that semester will not be paid for. They will go on a probationary period and if they get their grades back up the scholarship will be reinstated,” says Christiansen.
Aldridge was upset but still realizes it was her grades that cost her in the end. She just wishes she had been made aware of her different options.
“I wish they would have taken me more seriously. I was obviously serious about my position. I guess I could have filed an appeal, but at that point it just wasn’t worth it to me,” Aldridge says.