By DIXIE B. KOLDITZ
International students at BYU are celebrating their cultures and heritage this week during the Worldfest.
This year’s Worldfest, however, differs from last year’s due to the additional celebration of the availability of International scholarships.
“President Bateman told us that they will be giving some money from the Capital Campaign to help international students,” said Brenda Wadley, assistant International Services advisor.
Wadley said initially the money was awarded to students on merit and GPA.
“President Bateman suggested that the money be given as an aid or grant and not awarded by GPA only.”
Wadley said President Bateman’s idea worked because United States students get government assistance, grants and scholarships without a lot of focus on their GPA.
“This is helpful to our international students because they do not have much assistance,” Wadley said.
Although the money is not much, it is helpful, Wadley said.
“The money is not yet a full scholarship, but it covers half the cost of tuition and that is a good step,” Wadley said.
The two-semester, half-tuition scholarship has been awarded to 48 students so far.
Sue DeMartini, director of scholarships, said the administrators earmarked a million-dollar endowment for the international grant, which produces enough money to help 48 students.
“This kind of grant can be ongoing because an endowment account makes it possible to get a continuous interest to help the students,” said McClain Bybee, assistant advancement vice president-development.
Bybee explained an endowment as an account where one does not spend the principle but the profits.
“The money might not be enough but it is a start to helping students,” Wadley said.
DeMartini said the students are awarded the scholarship according to financial need, potential to bring positive recognition to BYU and the church, academic performance and involvement in campus activities.
Most international students said they are happy about the assistance they will be getting from the university.
“I think it is great and the scholarship will definitely relieve some burden,” said Chao-teh “Katy” Wang, 23, a sophomore from Taiwan majoring in chemical engineering.