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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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New scholarship initiative invests in future of A&M

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Photo by Ishika Samant

Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Fame member Edd Harget signs a football helmet on Saturday, April 8, 2023 at Kyle Field during the Maroon and White game.

Texas A&M recently announced a new joint initiative, the “Aggie Way Scholarship Initiative,” with a commitment to raise $100 million for students over the next four years.

The initiative was first mentioned at the 2022 State of University Address in the fall by President M. Katherine Banks. Banks said the university will embark on a scholarship campaign with the goal of raising additional money to assist students with the cost of education. The Texas A&M Foundation along with the university has since worked on collaborating with other scholarship organizations and donors to make the goal feasible.

42% of A&M undergraduate students have debt at graduation compared to 62% nationally, according to The Texas A&M Foundation. While this may be the case for undergraduate levels, higher education is becoming more expensive with debt increasing. Vice President of Engagement of The Foundation Tom Pool said this scholarship initiative increases access to all students and future classes.

“It is the umbrella that all scholarships reside under and it is a multiple of scholarships over the entire university,” Pool said. “We have started counting the scholarships since the fall when it was first announced and will count over the next four years.”

Donors can decide if the scholarship they fund is need-based or merit-based and what it goes toward. It could go toward the Regent Scholarships for first-generation students, Foundation excellence awards for underrepresented students, major-specific scholarships, Corps of Cadets scholarships or whatever else the donor may be passionate about. Donors can also choose to increase opportunities for students wanting to study abroad during the summer and school year as well. 

General engineering freshman Tanvi Kongara said many students feel the scholarship initiative is a step in the right direction and shows the university is prioritizing mitigating high costs.

“This initiative definitely shows a dedication to help students have access to higher education,” Kongara said. “Most students would like to go into higher education like a master’s program but don’t always have the means for it, so this will be helpful.”

Biomedical sciences freshman Nethra Karthik said this initiative should be carried over to other universities.

“When applying for colleges and for scholarships, I noticed that the scholarships don’t consider all the circumstances of the students,” Karthik said. “Students are now able to have more options because of this initiative rather than to feel unrepresented and can go onto higher education opportunities, which is something other universities should look at doing.” 

Donors can choose how much to donate and how many times as well. Donors can also choose what to name the scholarship, which students can apply for on the A&M Scholarship and Financial Aid page. Most scholarship programs also connect the donors and recipients through mentorship programs, hearing academic updates from the students and attending annual events together. 

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