|January 2008 Vol. 9 No. 4|
A top academic record-good school scores and ranking, plus top SAT scores
can win a full three- or four-year tuition free scholarship at AUB. The
University has long been committed to providing scholarships to as many
students as possible. Students may apply for various financial aid packages,
but in addition, for the past nine years, ten outstanding students have
been awarded full tuition Merit Scholarships based on academic achievement
|It is not a problem to find qualified
students: "On the contrary," Heath said. "We have many great
students we can't give scholarships to. We could double the number and still
have enough qualified students. Making the selection is painful. When it
comes down to class ranking, we're talking about number one and number two."
Merit Scholars generally like AUB. They describe the "excellent academic level," the "flexibility of courses and schedules," the "cultural and religious diversity," the "richness of student life," and the beautiful campus. With a large number studying engineering, many also sample minors and electives. One psychology major is doing two minors (cognitive science and philosophy) and considered a third in either history or English literature. But she decided to use her remaining electives "to take a variety of courses in different disciplines, rather than use all [her] remaining electives in either history or literature..
Enthusiastic about AUB, these talented students are nevertheless realists. One noted "a tangible disconnect between the intellectual stimulation offered in classes, and the general atmosphere on campus," related, she says, to what one studies. "I know people who are under-stimulated because of their majors." Another Merit Scholar praised Professor Samir Khalaf's passion for teaching and "infectious" scholarship: ("He always made students feel more like colleagues engaged in scholarship with him rather than students receiving knowledge from him,"), but said this was "a quality AUB would be hard pressed to find in most of its academic staff."
Students give the Merit Scholarships high marks for changing their lives by enabling them to attend AUB and by challenging them to perform at a high level academically. Several noted a boost to self-confidence: "The Merit Scholarship increased my confidence in my capabilities and motivated me to use these capabilities fully in order to maintain a certain level of excellence in many areas, not necessarily related to the academic work."
After AUB, many Merit Scholars are bound for master's and PhD programs abroad. Some are already in the work place, one a strategic management consultant for a multinational firm based in Beirut. One freshman scholar's response to a question about post graduation reflects the ongoing paralysis of the country: "After graduation I intend to get the hell out of the country." Another was more optimistic: "After graduation," he wrote, "I intend to complete my pursuit of knowledge and education and hopefully help, one day, in making our world a better place."
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