Sophia Guild • Staff Writer
Replacing the full-ride Presidential Fellows Scholarship, there is a new $10,000 Honors Scholars scholarship. This is now the largest monetary scholarship in the UT Tyler system.
Incoming freshmen have the opportunity to apply for the Honors Program through a new scholarship. 25 students will be selected for the scholarship. Applications are open for incoming freshmen until December 1st.
David Barron, Associate Vice President for University Enrollment, said the transition was made to form an academic-centered community as the honors program expands.
“We wanted to focus more on an academic plan for our scholarships and be more in line with other UT System institutions that have honors colleges,” Barron said. “It’s a more holistic approach to the scholarship, not just giving people money but academic structure and being part of a unit through the honors program.”
The scholarship comes with an opportunity to live with other Honors students in a Living-Learning Community (LLC), which will occupy a floor of Ornelas Residence Hall in 2022. Paul Streufert, founding director of the Honors Program, hopes that the LLC will provide students with a sense of community and belonging.
“Come for the money, stay for the community,” Streufert joked. “People might be attracted by a scholarship, but the best part of it isn’t the money. It’s the connections you make with your fellow students, your professors, and ideas.”
Streufert isn’t alone in his thinking. A study conducted by the Association of American Colleges & Universities showed that students who live in LLCs are more committed to civic engagement, have higher levels of academic self-confidence, and are more likely to become mentors for other students.
“You get so much out of observing, participating with, talking with people in the off hours,” Streufert said. “I think a lot of our best learning comes when we are connected and, to some degree, comfortable with each other.”
Though the new scholarship is considerably less than its predecessor, the Presidential Fellows Scholarship, Streufert insists the value isn’t always on the price tag.
“[Students] see the big price tag and think ‘Oh, that’s worth trying for,’” Streufert said. “I hope they realize the money gets you time with people, time with ideas, time in classes, to really treat it as this amazing four year intellectual experience that I hope college is for everyone.”
Scholarship applications are open until December 1st. For more information about scholarships at UT Tyler, visit https://www.uttyler.edu/scholarships/.