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State financial aid now requires 15-hour course load

By | Academics, General, Students, Uncategorized | No Comments

Beginning in Fall 2016, undergraduates must enroll in and complete 15 credit hours each semester to remain eligible for state financial aid programs.

These programs require that students are considered full-time:

  • Higher Education Legislative Plan for Needy Students Scholarship (HELP)
  • Mississippi Resident Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG)
  • Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant (MESG)
  • Law Enforcement Officers and Firemen Scholarship (LAW)
  • Teacher Education Scholars Forgivable Loan (TES)
  • William Winter Teacher and Alternate Route Teacher Forgivable Loan (WWTS/WWAR)
  • Health Care Professions Undergraduate Forgivable Loan (HCP-UG)

Students registered for less than 15 credit hours should contact the registrar to add hours.

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions:

  • Summer hours cannot be added to Fall or Spring hours.
  • If enrollment drops below 15 credits before state aid is disbursed to the student, the aid will be cancelled for that term and the following term. If enrollment drops below 15 credits after state aid is disbursed to the student, the aid will be cancelled for the following term.
  • Students should not report their enrollment directly to the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid. Enrollment is reported by the institution on behalf of its students.
  • All credit hours for a given term must be completed at a single institution. Credit hours cannot be completed at multiple institutions for a single term.
  • Students with fewer than 15 credit hours remaining in the course of study may appeal for an exception for a single term. Students with 24 or fewer credit hours remaining in the course of study may appeal for an exception for two terms.  Instructions for submitting an appeal is provided below.
  • Students enrolled in certain programs with defined curriculum pathways (lock-step) should not apply for individual exceptions. Each institution will apply for program exceptions to apply to all students in such programs.
  • Exceptions will be made for students in certain majors that require clinical, practicum, or student teaching terms. Each institution is being advised regarding how to report enrollment for such terms.
  • All students, even athletes, will be impacted in the same way. In order to receive and continue to receive state aid, the student must take and complete 15 hours, regardless of whether or not the student is an athlete or on any other kind of institutional scholarship.

For more information please visit www.mississippi.edu/financialaid or call Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid 601-432-6997 or 800-327-2980 (toll-free).

Delta State junior Tristan Ainsworth recently helped rescue a pilot who crashed his plane near Ainsworth's Moon Lake home.

Delta State student rescues pilot

By | Students | No Comments

It’s already been an eventful for summer for one Delta State student.

Tristan Ainsworth, who will be a junior this fall, responded to an accident scene on June 9 like any criminal justice major would.

Ainsworth was watching TV at his Moon Lake home when he heard a loud bang just before his power went out. The ruckus was the sound of a local pilot who had crashed his plane in the lake just beside his house.

“I walked outside and saw my neighbor sprinting toward the lake,” said Ainsworth. “I jogged down to the lake the best I could and jumped in to help. I didn’t stop and think about it. I saw the plane and just realized I needed to help.”

Ainsworth put on his good Samaritan hat without much thought, despite being in recovery from a recent car crash that broke his back.

“It was a straight gut reaction. I think anybody in the situation I was in at the time would have done the same thing,” he said.

Ainsworth’s humble actions were crucial as he and his neighbor helped pull the pilot out of the plane safely back to shore. According to Ainsworth, the pilot was slipping in and out of consciousness.

Ainsworth added that his training as an Eagle Scout helped prepare him for the rescue situation.

According to news reports, the pilot was flown to the hospital and was released the next day.

“I knew he needed help, and I knew that’s what I needed to do,” he added. “It’s the same type of helping hands we see on campus.”

Follow all Delta State news at www.deltastate.edu.

Students Tyler Sullivan (left) and Tyler Daniels were recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program.

Students accepted into Rural Physician Scholarship Program

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Students | No Comments

Delta State students Tyler Daniels of Oak Grove, and Tyler Sullivan of Louisville, were recently selected to participate in the undergraduate portion of the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP).

Created in 2007, MRPSP identifies college students who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained, rural primary care physicians in the state of Mississippi.

The program offers undergraduate academic enrichment and a clinical experience in a rural setting. Upon completion of all medical school admissions requirements, participants can be admitted to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine or William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

While in medical school, the scholars are under consideration for $30,000 per year based on available funding. Consistent legislative support of MRPSP translates to 60 medical students receiving a total of $1,800,000 to support their education. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural physicians and academic support.

Upon completion of medical training, MRPSP Scholars must enter a residency program in one of five primary care specialties: family medicine, general internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology or pediatrics. The scholar must also provide four years of service in a clinic-based practice in an approved Mississippi community of 20,000 people or less located more than 20 miles from a medically served area.

MRPSP provides a means for rural Mississippi students to earn a seat in medical school, receive MCAT preparation, earn a $120,000 medical school scholarship, and learn the art of healing from practicing rural physicians.

For more information, contact Dan Coleman, MRPSP associate director, at 601-815-9022, jdcoleman@umc.edu or http://mrpsp.umc.edu.

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Delta State among best for private scholarships

By | Academics, Students | No Comments

LendEDU, an online resource for information on student loans, recently ranked Delta State University among the Top 150 universities in the nation for providing private scholarships.

Utilizing data licensed from Peterson’s (https://www.petersons.com), LendEDU calculated the average amount of non-need based private scholarship funding per student at 1,000 colleges and universities. Delta State came in at No. 131 on the list.

“Clearly, the top ranked schools are doing a great job encouraging their students to seek additional sources of scholarship funding,” said LendEDU, in a press release. “We think the results of our study are interesting, relevant and eye opening. Before you apply for a student loan, you should look for scholarships and grants to help cover your cost of attendance. Scholarships are a great way to finance your education. Unlike student loans, scholarships do not need to be paid back. And, according to College Board, there is $122 billion in scholarship funding awarded to students each year.”

LendEDU’s study found that on average, the students winning the most private scholarships are coming from small to mid-sized schools.

Founded in 2014, LendEDU was created to help student loan borrowers find transparency without damaging their credit.

For more information on the survey, visit https://lendedu.com/blog/june-private-scholarships-study.

 

 

Dr. E.E. "Butch" Caston

University recognizes Caston’s career

By | College of Education and Human Sciences, Faculty/Staff, President, Students | No Comments

Delta State University is paying tribute to one of its most dedicated retiring employees — Dr. E.E. “Butch” Caston.

Caston, a graduate of Delta State in 1966, retires Friday after serving as interim vice president for Student Affairs since July of 2015. He has come out of retirement multiple times to serve interim roles for the institution.

“I’m looking forward to returning to retirement,” said Caston. “I have a good feeling about our accomplishments this year.”

Caston first made his professional mark at the university by serving as dean of the College of Education from 1989-2002.

“The one thing that I found coming to Delta State initially as a student, was that it’s a close and accepting environment,” said Caston. “Many years later, returning as an employee, I found that quality still existed, and it still does today.”

Caston said he leaves Delta State with nothing but pride for the university that has been a part of his life for decades.

“I’m a product of the university. I came here as a student. Delta State held me up until I could grow up. I’ll always be grateful for that,” he said.

He returned to the university in 2013 at the request of President William N. LaForge to serve as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. His return in 2015 followed the retirement of Dr. Wayne Blansett, who served the university for 40 years.

“Butch Caston has evidenced outstanding service to Delta State by coming out of retirement twice, first in 2013 as provost, and in 2015 as vice president for Student Affairs,” said LaForge. “He was incredibly successful in both posts. The Delta State family, and I in particular, will be eternally grateful to him for his dedication and loyalty. He was on outstanding member of Delta State leadership for years. I deeply appreciate him for his commitment of time and effort to the university.

“I’ve joked with him already, but I wish him better luck in his next effort at retiring.”

President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt, who worked with Caston when he was dean, echoed LaForge’s praise.

“Delta State University was fortunate to attract Dr. Butch Caston back to his alma mater when he accepted administrative roles in the College of Education,” said Wyatt. “Through his leadership and innovative ideas, he helped make Delta State University the outstanding regional university it is today. Dr. Caston’s love for Delta State has been continuous and an inspiration to all. After retirement, he stepped forward in top administrative roles when his all alma mater needed him. Personally, I want to thank Butch for his loyalty and never failing friendship.”

Dr. Michelle Roberts, vice president for University Relations and Chief of Staff, said she will greatly miss Caston’s presence on campus.

“I have had the opportunity to watch Dr. Caston excel in many different areas at Delta State, and in every role, he has shined,” said Roberts. “But, in my view, his role as vice president of Student Affairs has been his crowning moment. He was a natural when it came to working with students. It’s like his personal family grew to include the thousands of Delta State students as his children.”

“Dr. Caston did not play the typical interim role,” added Roberts. “He did not view this position as simply keeping a seat warm. He rolled up his sleeves, and was determined to leave Delta State a better place than he found it. His love and passion for Delta State, our students, and this community are admirable, and the service he has provided our university has been extraordinary. Dr. Caston exemplifies the spirit of the Delta State family, and he is indeed a true Statesmen.”

Mikel Sykes, a senior at Delta State, has worked closely with Dr. Caston, most recently during Sykes’s two terms as Student Government Association president.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Dr. Caston the past couple of years, especially seeing how much he cares about the student experience,” said Sykes. “He’s been a leader I’ve looked up to during my time in the SGA. We all wish him the best in retirement.”

Taking over for Caston is Dr. Vernell Bennett. Bennett arrives at Delta State after previously serving in the same role at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. Her extensive experience at KSU enabled her to foster collaborations between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, faculty, staff, students, the administration and community.

Follow all Delta State University news at www.deltastate.edu.