West Texas A&M University will offer more than $500,000 for first-time and transfer students beginning this fall, thanks to The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents’ Scholarship Fund.
The overall $100 million scholarship program was approved June 15 with the goal of making the A&M System’s 11 universities better reflect the state’s demographics. The program is to address diversity issues as well as concerns of students who are first-generation and/or from low-income families in the wake of economic uncertainty associated with COVID-19, current unemployment rates and families’ depleted emergency savings.
“We are ready to help make more students’ college dreams come true, thanks to this innovative program adopted by the Board of Regents,” said WT President Dr. Walter Wendler. “These funds will help address areas of great need for potential and, in some cases, existing students, and will make it possible to live up to Chancellor John Sharp’s vision of making ‘the A&M System look like Texas’ and to our generational plan, ‘WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World,’ that commits us to transforming into a diverse regional research university.”
The $538,000 allotted to WT will be used to retain and attract students for Fall 2020 as well for recruiting students who would begin in Fall 2021.
“This is an excellent opportunity for students who may think college is not an option for them, or who just need a little more help,” said Jeffrey Baylor, executive director of admissions. “Students who think they may qualify should reach out to the admissions office here so we can we act quickly. We also are working diligently to identify students we already know about who we can help. It’s a great time to be a Buff!”
To contact the Admissions office, call 806-651-2020 or 1-800-99-WTAMU, or email email@example.com.
For the Fall 2020 cohort, the funds can be used over and above any existing scholarships to ensure qualified students who already have been admitted will be able to attend. The fund also may be used to provide educational tools including laptops, wireless hot spots and more, as well for recruiting students who have not already committed to attending WT.
For the Fall 2021 cohort and beyond, scholarships will be awarded to new qualifying students, not to retain current students who are not already scholarship recipients in the program.
The Fund provides $10 million annually over 10 years for scholarships. System member universities also will be engaged in fundraising to help support the effort.
“Historic challenges call for historic action,” said Chairman Elaine Mendoza in announcing the scholarship program. “Given the economic impact families are enduring across the state, it is imperative we act now before the Fall semester begins. Our board’s strategic plan articulates clearly our commitment to ensuring our institutions serve a diverse student body. By doing this now, our administration has another tool to support Texans and enable them to pursue their education.”
The program is in line with the Board of Regents’ Strategic Plan that promises the A&M System will remain accessible and affordable for all students, regardless of socioeconomic background.
Registration for Fall 2020 is now underway at wtamu.edu/admissions. Fall classes begin Aug. 24.
-West Texas A&M University