ACU will for the first time offer an award to local students who are part of Abilene and the Big Country entering fall 2020.
The Abilene and Big Country Distinguished Student Award has been designated for juniors who are in the local counties within a ninety mile radius and exceed a 3.5 core GPA or are in the top 25 percent of their class. They will then be guaranteed $20,000 a year in tuition and can add this award to other academic scholarships and grants.
There is also another award for juniors in the area with a 3.0-3.49 core GPA. They will be guaranteed $17,000 a year. There is no cap on students who can be chosen for this award. One of the requirements for these students is they must apply for FAFSA yearly.
The counties involved in this award are: Taylor, Brown, Callahan, Coke, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Fisher, Haskell, Irion, Jones, Mitchell, Nolan, Runnels, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Throckmorton, Tom Green, and Young County.
Associate Director of New Student Orientation and Admissions Counselor Brittney Lewis is one of the few in charge of the Big Country Award. She said most students in these counties are not considering ACU because of cost.
“This award is really starting to encourage those grades, GPA, and class rank at a young age and not waiting till you are a senior, and this is a way that we can celebrate students that are succeeding,” Lewis said.
This award is intended to help students receive a minimum amount of financial aid assistance the students do not have to pay back. The end goal is for the local students to be debt-free by the end of their college career. Every student’s award amount will be different based on academic awards, FAFSA or other grants, and it will equally add up to what students were promised.
Vice President for Enrollment Management Tamra Long and Lewis’ goals are to embrace ACU’s “backyard” and for the students to feel comfortable in attending with a fair chance to receive this award.