70% of First-Year Students Receive Aid Under Southeast’s New Copper Dome Scholarship Program


More than 70% of first-year students at Southeast Missouri State University this fall are receiving scholarship aid, thanks to the University’s new Copper Dome Scholarship Program.

That’s up from 30% after Southeast reconfigured its scholarship program last fall and rolled out an all new version that offers test optional criteria, superscoring and stackable awards. The new program also offers straightforward renewal criteria.

Students also can combine their awards with endowed scholarships and need-based aid they receive, including the Federal Pell Grant. In addition, the Copper Dome Scholarship is now progressive in value, meaning it can increase every year if certain renewal criteria are met. Over the past four years, tuition and fees have increased only 11.5%, whereas the value of the Copper Dome Scholarship can increase more than 15% during four years of renewal.

The Copper Dome Scholarship Program also includes the prestigious and competitive President’s Scholarship awarded annually to five students who represent the top of all applicants to Southeast. Students are invited to campus to interview for the elite $10,000 renewable award that covers $7,000 in tuition and fees, and $3,000 for residence hall fees for students living on campus during their first year. Students who meet the President’s Scholarship renewal criteria may increase their award annually as well, bringing their total scholarship value to $43,000.

The new scholarship program is all part of Southeast’s longstanding commitment to providing a high-quality education at an affordable price.

For freshman multimedia journalism major Emma Goodrick of Athens, Georgia, Southeast’s scholarship program helped make her college choice a simple one. Goodrick received a Copper Dome Scholarship, a Redhawks Achievement Award and a Residence Life Leadership Award.

“The Copper Dome Scholarship made my decision much easier because it eliminated a lot of the cost-related factors in my choice of where to go for college,” she said. “The progressive values of the scholarship make me feel like Southeast really wants me here and wants this award to reflect the work that I’m putting in every day into my classes.”

The progressive values also attracted freshman English education major Brandon Sipes of Fairdealing, Missouri, who also received a Copper Dome Scholarship and a Residence Life Leadership Award.

“I thought the increasing scholarship values were a great thing to give students who strive to do their best,” he said. “Other colleges just didn’t have an offer that compared. It made me feel like SEMO valued my work more than other colleges.

“Knowing that I can receive more with each year I do well really motivates me to succeed,” he said. “It pushes me to do my very best.”

The cost of a college education was critical when freshman engineering technology major Hunter Hendershott of Marble Hill, Missouri, chose to attend Southeast.

“I’m concerned about the amount of my college debt, but the Copper Dome Scholarship provided me the opportunity to stay in Missouri for my degree and have an affordable education,” he said.  “There are more services that assist students than what I expected, and it’s affordable thanks to my scholarship.”

Freshman nursing major Emily Smith of Dexter, Missouri, agreed, adding “Earning the Copper Dome Scholarship has helped pay for my tuition quite a bit. Southeast is a great school with great faculty, student organizations, classrooms and experiences. I cannot wait to grow and reach my goals here.”

For more information about the Copper Dome Scholarship Program, visit http://semo.edu/sfs/financialaid/scholarships/institutional.html.

Southeast is now accepting applications for the fall 2020 semester. Prospective students are encouraged to take advantage of the Common Application and benefits of the University’s new Copper Dome Scholarship Program. Students should apply at semo.edu/apply to meet the Dec. 1 scholarship guarantee deadline.

For more information about Southeast, visit https://semo.edu, or plan a visit at https://semo.edu/visit.