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May 11

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WGU forks over scholarship funds

The online, non-profit university WGU Texas has announced it is expanding its support of Texas education. In addition to its established Finish to Go Further program it is introducing what it calls its Pursuit of Excellence Transfer Scholarship to urge promising East Texans to expand their educations via WGU Texas. Kilgore College President Dr. Bill Holda is upbeat about the program’s potential.

“We’re all working together to increase post-secondary completion rates in East Texas and across the state,” he said.

“Through WGU Texas’ Pursuit of Excellence Transfer Scholarship we will be able to recognize the truly outstanding students who graduate from our local community colleges and provide them a high quality and affordable avenue to further their educations and future careers.”

WGU Texas will be awarding nine separate scholarships valued at up to $6250 ($1250 per term for up to five terms) to an outstanding alumnus from each of the following East Texas community colleges, enabling them to work towards online bachelor or masters degrees from the university.

Angelina College

Kilgore College

Northeast Texas Community College

Panola College

Paris Junior College

Texarkana College

Texas State Technical College-Marshall

Trinity Valley Community College

Tyler Junior College

The Greater Texas Foundation recently awarded WGU a $500,000 grant (to be delivered over the next three years) to enable the university to create guaranteed transfer pathways, and to serve the adult population in rural East Texas with some college credit and no degree.

“Having been raised in East Texas I personally understand the financial challenges that adult learners often face on the road to post-secondary completion,” said Greater Texas Foundation President/CEO Dr. Wynn Rosser. “WGU Texas’ online, competency-based model is a perfect solution for adult learners because they can keep working and still get a college degree to gain a competitive advantage.”

WGU Texas pursues an innovative philosophy called competency-based education that emphasizes how much a student learns rather than how much time he spends in class. It caters to adults who need a flexible and affordable means of returning to college to pursue bachelors and/or masters degree programs. WGU Texas works with the Greater Texas Foundation in the quest to provide affordable degree courses to all Texas students, especially those facing otherwise insurmountable barriers to a college education. Most WGU Texas degree programs’ tuition is $2890 per six-month term. These terms can start on the first of any month.

“By partnering with Greater Texas Foundation and our community colleges we can collectively remove barriers to higher education and provide adult learners in the East Texas area a second chance to achieve their dreams of a college degree in an affordable and flexible way,” said WGU Texas Chancellor Ray Martinez.

Eligibility for the Pursuit of Excellence Transfer Scholarship requires a student be a graduate of the transferring community or technical college, have completed an admission application, and be successfully admitted to WGU Texas. Scholarship counselors will interview applicants.  Although WGU Texas will select scholarship recipients, every community college president will be permitted to review potential candidates before the awards are announced, and will present the awards to the winning candidates.

The Greater Texas Foundation is headquartered in Bryan, Texas, and supports initiatives that further rates of post-secondary enrollment and graduation opportunities for all Texas students. Emphasis is given to students encountering various barriers to completing post-secondary education.

Since 2011 WGU Texas has functioned as a non-profit online institution of higher learning that concentrates on providing Texas residents the opportunity to acquire a quality higher education.

The application deadline for the Pursuit of Excellence Transfer Scholarship is June 30, 2014. For more info please call (877) 214-7011 or visit http://texas.wgu.edu/tuition_financial_aid/scholarships/pursuit_of_excellence_overview.

By contributing write Kelly Bell

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