Union College Spring Preview Day

Published 12:45 pm Thursday, February 23, 2023

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Union College has introduced new measures aimed at increasing the accessibility of undergraduate education, particularly for local students. As a result, it’s estimated that over 50% of Union’s incoming class will have their tuition covered.

“We have this great scholarship model, and it’s just about getting the message out,” says Dr. David Williams, Union’s Interim Vice President of Enrollment & Marketing.

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Union encourages high school juniors and seniors, transfer students, and parents to register for Spring Preview Day on March 18 to learn about all Union has to offer. Check-in begins at 9 a.m., followed by presentations, tours, free lunch, and admission to the afternoon baseball game. Prospective students who attend the event will be entered into a raffle to win an extra $1,000 scholarship, as well.

“It’s a come-and-see and find-out event,” says Jana Neffendorf, Union’s Assistant Vice President of Undergraduate Admissions. “Come and find out about Union Distinction, campus life, academic programs, and student organizations.”

The Union Distinction Scholarship serves students of highest financial need and covers 100% of tuition. The award used to apply only to local counties but now includes the whole state. “That’s the big news this year,” says Williams.

Roughly 60% of Union’s incoming class is projected to meet the criteria for free tuition. To find out if they are eligible, students need to do two things. They must apply to Union and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

On Preview Day, the admissions team and financial aid counselors can help with these applications. They can also answer questions about award letters students who already applied may have received. Preview Day offers an opportunity to learn about Union’s other new scholarships, too.

The Local High School Scholarship, for instance, automatically awards $1,000 per year to students from three local high schools — Barbourville, Knox and Lynn Camp. Additionally, the Academic Merit Scholarships have been simplified to only take GPA into consideration. Williams says he, Neffendorf and the rest of the team worked hard to make the award process “simple and straightforward for parents and students.”

Those who have not yet applied to Union can do so for free on Preview Day. Students wishing to apply will need to bring their high school transcripts, and if they have them, ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students should bring transcripts from their most recent school. “We could accept people on the spot,” Neffendorf says.

ACT and SAT scores are no longer required for Union admission or merit scholarships. However, students with high scores may qualify for competitive awards including the Sharp and Trustee Scholarships. These “full-ride” awards offer free room and board, in addition to free tuition.

“Our scholarships are designed to really meet the financial needs of people in these mountains,” Williams says, “and that’s always been Union’s mission.”

Union hosts Preview Day each Fall and Spring. Professors, coaches, current students, and other faculty and staff will greet visitors and talk with them about the Union experience. Campus tours include classrooms, residence halls, the student center, and the cafeteria, where complimentary lunch will be served.

“We want students to come and visit because that’s when they know,” says Williams. He explains that as a small college, Union is all about making personal connections, one student at a time. “Visiting campus is what helps people know that Union’s the right place for them,” he says.

To register for the March 18 event, go to unionky.edu/preview or call Debbie Ross at (606) 546-1751.

The Union College Spring Preview Day for high school juniors and seniors, transfer students and parents is scheduled for March 18. Photo submitted