Retaining our talented students

Published: Wednesday 1st April 2015

The ACU Student Achievement and Retention Strategy highlights the importance of recognising, rewarding and challenging high achievers at ACU. The Strategy recommends development of a High Achievers program. Current initiatives include the ACU Academic Excellence Scholarships and the ACU Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

The inaugural award of ACU Academic Excellence Scholarships is being finalised, with successful applicants to be advised after census date. There are 60 scholarships available and they will be awarded proportionally across the faculties to full-time, continuing, undergraduate students who have completed at least 80 credit points and have achieved the highest GPAs, with a minimum of GPA 6. Each scholarship is worth $5,000, with a total budget annually of $300,000.

Students responded to the call for applications in record numbers – the highest of any of the different scholarships available in the 2015 round. Of 566 applications, 259 were eligible. A further 170 students commenced but did not complete their application. The application numbers show an outstanding interest in the scholarship. The successful applicants will be formally presented with their scholarship at an upcoming award ceremony.

Promotion and support for the ACU Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society, founded in September 2013, is another active initiative under the High Achievers program. Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honour society and membership into the Society is by invitation only. It offers its members exclusive opportunities and connections through scholarships and awards, partnerships with major corporations, career advancement and graduate programs.

At the end of 2014 ACU had 1,066 Golden Key members. Just over 2,000 invitations to join have been sent recently to the top 15 per cent of students based on 2014 GPA results. Around 15 per cent of these are postgraduate students. New Member Receptions will be held on each campus in April and May.

I encourage the ongoing promotion of these opportunities and incentives to students to help the university reach its student retention goals.

With every good wish,

Professor Anne Cummins
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning and Teaching)