Area superintendents and school officials along with members of the TC Board of Trustees and Foundation Board met today to approve a new plan for graduating seniors in the top of their high school class to study at TC for up to two years at no cost. The scholarship, which is underwritten by the TC Foundation, gives high achieving graduating seniors who reside in TC’s service area or Miller County, Arkansas, a reward for their hard work while in high school and provides an opportunity to earn college credit without incurring any cost for tuition, fees and textbooks.
The new TC Presidential Scholarship will also allow students to participate in the honors program, have a unique first year experience with other Presidential Scholars, and enjoy priority advising and registration dates. The program is designed to prepare students to transfer core complete to a four-year university of their choice and pursue their bachelor’s degree.
“Texarkana College’s highest priority is increasing the number of persons with higher education credentials in our region,” said Kyle Davis, President of TC’s Board of Trustees. “Too many of our area’s top performing students leave our communities and this impacts our region’s workforce. We believe this scholarship opportunity is a game changer not only for families wondering how they will be able to afford sending their child to college, but for the economic future of our region.”
The Texarkana College Foundation is providing the funding to support the scholarship. Mike Craven, president of the TC Foundation Board, said members are ready to move forward and raise the necessary funds to endow the future of this scholarship.
“The idea of helping students who have worked extra hard in high school obtain college credit without having to take out loans or worry about costs is one of the most exciting opportunities of which I have ever been a part,” Craven said. “We are raising the bar for student learning at Texarkana College and we are excited about helping grow the TC Honors College through this program.”
At the meeting, more than twenty area school officials from across TC’s service area and Miller County, AR, showed their support of the scholarship plan.
“In the western end of Bowie County, we want our students to have choices once they graduate from high school,” said Dr. Rose Mary Neshyba, Superintendent of New Boston Independent School District. “TC’s new scholarship will help open doors of opportunity for our students and enable them to reach for goals they never thought attainable. We are grateful for Texarkana College’s support and their effort to give back to the communities that have supported the College throughout the years.”
State Rep. Gary VanDeaver, a 33-year rural educator and former superintendent of New Boston ISD, said that without community colleges, many students would have no chance at a higher education.
“Serving as a member of the Public Education Committee has shown me that community colleges are the work horse of higher education in our state,” VanDeaver said. “I am so proud of the Texarkana College Board of Trustees and Texarkana College Foundation for providing this scholarship for the hard working students that deserve it in the area that I represent in Northeast Texas.”
The scholarship application is now available online. High school students who automatically qualify for the Presidential Scholarship include those who reside in TC’s service area that includes Bowie County, Cass County, and parts of Red River County, Texas, or students who live in Miller County, Arkansas. A student must have an un-weighted cumulative GPA of 3.25 and rank in the top 15% or top 10 of their class. Students who have a 3.25 GPA but do not meet other criteria are encouraged to submit an application and complete a brief essay supporting their reason for consideration of scholarship funds.