NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Lewis Foundation is urging Bahamian students with an interest in studying at American universities to put more focus on Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores.
The foundation noted the US aptitude test is not a priority at local institutions, which has led to many scholarship applicants being turned away due to no or low scores.
In a press release, the foundation noted “thousands of dollars in scholarship funds have yet to be awarded” because of the trend.
Despite high GPAs and solid Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) results, many applicants reportedly possessed no or low Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores.
“While the Lewis Foundation referred several bright minds to the university for consideration, those applicants were turned down for admission,” the release stated.
The foundation expanded its scholarship program to the University of Central Florida (UCF) on Tuesday.
The decision follows revelations uncovered through a year-long survey of would-be hospitality and tourism majors, specifically that Bahamian students weren’t satisfying academic requirements for Orlando’s hometown university.
“Due to the overwhelming response by persons looking to study other fields it only made sense to open the opportunity to all disciplines,” said Lewis Foundation spokesperson Andrica Smith-Munroe.
“In doing so, we hope to ensure more students have access to higher education.”
“It is important to note that because SAT/ACT exams are not priority in our school system the exam is treated as an afterthought. As a result, a candidate may have a strong transcript, but subpar SAT/ACT scores that count against them,” said Smith-Munroe.
“We can only recommend to Bahamian students interested in attending American universities to take note of the requirements needed to be successfully admitted. Of course, do well in secondary school and BGCSEs, but also have strong SAT/ACT scores.”
The foundation will now offer full scholarships – tuition, room and board and textbooks – to all majors, not just hospitality and tourism degree-seeking undergraduates.
A major metropolitan research institution, UCF is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as Florida’s most innovative university and one of the nation’s top 20 most innovative.
With 13 colleges, including a College of Medicine, UCF offers more than 220-degree programs.
To be eligible for scholarships students must be able to provide proof of Bahamian citizenship, acceptance into UCF and demonstrate financial need.
First-generation college students, whose parents did not attend a tertiary institution, will be given preference.
For up to five successful applicants, the scholarship is renewable up to eight semesters based on UCF’s good academic standing requirements.
Potential candidates are asked to email their interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.