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Nearly 400 high school seniors from throughout Virginia and 13 other states will be on campus this weekend for a unique scholarship competition. And the good news is that no one will go home empty-handed, says Michael O'Connor, director of admissions.

Students who were selected for the competition had to have applied for admission to the university by Dec. 15 and meet the following minimum academic requirements: a 3.25 grade point average and an 1100 SAT score, or a 3.5 GPA and a ranking in the top 10 percent of their class.

As part of the competition, each student will be given one hour to write a blue-book essay on one of two preselected topics. Following this off-the-cuff exercise, the students will be interviewed by faculty members in their disciplines of interest.

Each student who competes and ultimately enrolls at Old Dominion is guaranteed at least a $1,000 annual scholarship for up to four years, based on meeting yearly eligibility requirements, and many students will earn awards in higher amounts -- up to full-ride, four-year scholarships. Students will be competing for a variety of university awards, including the prestigious Governor's Technology Scholarships.

The type of scholarship and amount of the award will be based on the students' essays and faculty interviews, said O'Connor.

While the majority of the students are from Virginia, others will have traveled from as far north as New York and as far west as Texas. Old Dominion has even made provisions to conduct phone interviews of three U.S. students attending Department of Defense Schools in Germany and Korea and to accept their essays via e-mail.

"This competition makes our award process more action-based and provides a real opportunity for the faculty to have some ownership in who is coming to the university," said O'Connor. "And it's a great way for us to identify and reward the best and brightest incoming students. Since we announced the competition, the feedback from counselors, families and students has been very positive."

This article was posted on: February 25, 2000

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.