Do you remember spring semester of your high school senior year? Remember the stress of filling out scholarships and trying to finish your homework although senioritis had officially kicked in? For some of you, that spring semester also included attending the Pacific University Pacesetters competition. This year the competition will be held Feb. 12, 18 and 21 at the Forest Grove campus.
Being named the most important undergraduate admissions event of the year, by Assistant Director and Events Coordinator for Undergraduate Admissions Valerie Cleary, there are certain criteria that prospective students have to meet to be eligible to attend Pacesetters. Students have to meet a 3.5 or higher GPA and earn at least an 1100 on the SAT Math & Critical Reading or 24 ACT Composition score.
“University research shows students who participate in Pacesetters remain at the university at a high rate, are academically successful and highly involved with the campus community,” said Cleary.
This year, nearly 500 students will be attending Pacesetters.
At the competition, students are given a writing test and individual problem solving test each with an allotted 50 minutes to complete. The writing section has students compose an essay in response to a quote or prompt or write a creative piece based on an image or idea. Faculty from the English Department wrote this portion of the exam.
The individual problem solving exam is based on logic and math. Our faculty from the chemistry, political science, economics, computer science, mathematics and biology departments wrote this section of the exam.
In the end, each student who attends the on-campus event automatically receives a $4,000 scholarship, $1,000 annually for four years. Those who perform well will earn a $20,000 scholarship, $5,000 per school year for four years. The top two highest scores will be granted full-tuition scholarships.
“Pacesetter participants are able to interact with current Pacific students, faculty, staff and other prospective students. The Pacesetters event helps students and parents get a ‘feel’ for what their Pacific experience will be like. Pacesetters helps students feel connected to the campus community,” said Cleary.
New additions to this year’s competition will be an opportunity for parents and students to interact with a variety of programs, departments and student groups in the afternoon through an informational resource fair in the University Center and tours of the residence halls.
The 2012 competition will be a great opportunity for prospective students to earn a scholarship and get a preview of what campus life would be like if decide to attend Pacific.

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