Sevier County students among first recipients
By Debra L. Williams
During a press conference at the Walters State Community College Morristown campus, the college announced a new scholarship program that will benefit local high-achieving students.
Called the Walters State Promise, the program is designed to help individuals achieve their educational goals by guaranteeing scholarships to students who excel academically.
“The college’s promise to area students is this: if you meet certain academic criteria, you are guaranteed a scholarship to attend Walters State that is above and in addition to the Tennessee Promise and other financial aid,” said Walters State President Dr. Wade McCamey during the press conference.
Beginning with the high school class of 2015, the Tennessee Promise will provide students with a last-dollar scholarship that will pay for tuition costs not covered by a Pell grant, Hope scholarship or other funds. McCamey said that the Walters State Promise will help students pay for costs, such as textbooks, technology and travel expenses, not covered by the Tennessee Promise or other financial aid.
“Through the Walters State Promise, we want to demonstrate how much we value the academic accomplishments of high school graduates from our community. They have worked very hard to achieve their academic goals and Walters State wants to reward them for their commitment to education,” McCamey said.
In addition to scholarships for high school graduates, the Walters State Promise also guarantees scholarships for adult learners who meet certain criteria. “In addition to rewarding high school graduates, Walters State wants to recognize the accomplishments of our adult students and help them achieve their academic goals,” McCamey also said.
The Walters State Promise Program, which is effective fall 2015, includes four guaranteed scholarship opportunities: the Senators Scholars, provides $1,000 per semester to students who graduate with a minimum high school GPA of 3.7 and a 26 ACT score. The Senators Scholars Dual Enrollment Award, students who meet the Senators Scholars requirements and have earned at least 12 hours of college credit with a college GPA of 3.0 also receive $500 per semester. The Senators Dual Enrollment Achievement Award, students who are not recipients of the Senators Scholars Scholarship but have completed at least 12 hours of college credit through dual enrollment classes at Walters State while maintaining a 3.0 GPA receive $500 per semester. The Senators Adult Learner Completion Award, provides $250 per semester to students who are 26 years of age or older and have earned 45 to 75 credit hours with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
In addition to the new Walters State Promise, which is funded through institutional monies, scholarships for area students are also available through the Walters State Foundation. “Students who do not meet the academic requirements for a Walters State Promise Scholarship may qualify for a Walters State Foundation Scholarship,” said McCamey.“Each year, hundreds of thousands of dollars in foundation scholarships are awarded to area students,” McCamey also said.
Sevier County students receiving awards include Jacob Juvinall, a senior at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School. He received the Senators Scholars Award and the Senators Scholars Dual enrollment Award. Chad Gibson, a senior at Pigeon Forge High School. He received the Senators Scholars Award. Joshua Stinnett, a senior at Sevier County High School, received the Senators Scholars Award and the Senators Scholars Dual Enrollment Award. Mackenzie Liedel, a senior at Seymour High School, also received the Senators Scholars Award and the Senators Dual Enrollment Award. Jackson Hurst, an engineering technology major at Walters State, received the Senators Adult Learners Completion Award.