Which universities are associated with the Terry Foundation Scholarship? Is it transferable?
Terry Foundation Scholarships can be used presently at Texas A&M University at College Station, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston main campus, Texas State University-San Marcos, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, or Texas Woman’s University. Students receiving scholarships from the Foundation (known as “Terry Scholars”) may use their scholarships at any of the participating institutions.
In general, the Terry Scholarship is portable and a Terry Scholar may attend or transfer at any time to another of the participating universities. However, the exception to this general portability rule applies only to freshmen Scholars at the University of Houston, Texas State University-San Marcos, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, and Texas Woman’s University. Freshman Scholars at these universities will not be permitted to transfer during their first year to any of the other participating universities.
How are Terry Scholars selected and what are the criteria?
Terry Scholars are selected based on three criteria: (1) leadership potential and character; (2) scholastic record and ability; and (3) financial need. Each of these criteria is weighed equally and independently.
The first step in each year’s selection process occurs each spring when the participating universities identify likely candidates for Terry Scholarships from among the next fall’s incoming freshmen class. These students must have been accepted to attend the university and must meet the state’s requirements to qualify for in-state tuition. Students selected must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents at the time of their selection.
These students are then asked to submit a written application that includes letters of recommendation and essays, as well as test results and background information. They are reviewed first by a screening committee at each university, who nominate to the Foundation candidates meeting the criteria for Terry Scholarships.
The applications of students nominated by the universities are then reviewed by the Foundation's Directors. From these applicants, a number of finalists are invited for interviews at various locations around the state. The students are interviewed by panels consisting of Directors of the Foundation, Terry Scholar alumni, and current Terry Scholars. From the students interviewed, the Directors select the scholarship recipients.
Does the Terry Foundation accept applications directly from high school students?
No. The Foundation considers only students who are nominated by the universities associated with the program.
Can I use the Terry Scholarship to attend a Texas A&M University other than College Station, a University of Texas campus other than Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, a Texas State University System campus other than San Marcos, or a University of Houston, University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, or Texas Woman’s University campus other than the main campus?
No. Unfortunately, this is not presently permitted. Because of the regular functions scheduled for Terry Scholars on the campuses, it is not feasible at this time for Scholars to attend other campuses.
Is the interview required in order to receive a Terry Scholarship?
Yes. Terry Scholarships are not awarded without a satisfactory interview. The Foundation pays expenses incurred by prospective Scholars who are invited to interview.
How soon after the interviews are the new Terry Scholars announced?
All interviews for Terry Scholarships are held during April of each year. Separate interview panels work simultaneously in several cities across the State of Texas. During the week following the interviews, the final selections are made and the new Terry Scholars for that fall's freshman class are notified by mail within approximately three weeks of the interview.
What period does the Terry Scholarship cover and what are the criteria for retaining it?
In general, a Terry Foundation scholarship covers up to eight full semesters of undergraduate education. The Terry Scholarship is renewable annually for the eight semesters at the discretion of the Foundation's Directors. The renewal for eight semesters is automatic unless you are notified to the contrary. Under certain circumstances, Scholars who meet additional requirements and are enrolled in university-recognized five year programs may apply for an additional two semesters of funding.
In order to keep the Terry Scholarship in effect, and in addition to any other requirements that the university may impose, a Scholar must (1) maintain at least a cumulative 2.5 grade point average, (2) write an acceptable annual self-evaluation letter, (3) attend the functions sponsored by The Terry Foundation, and (4) comply with the rules prescribed from time to time by the university and the Foundation's Directors. If a Scholar's grade point average drops below the required minimum, the student will be placed on probation for one additional semester and given the opportunity to bring the grade point average back into compliance. If at the end of the probationary period the cumulative grade point average is still below 2.5, the Scholar will be terminated from the program.
In addition, there is a specific minimum grade point average requirement applicable to each semester's current-semester grades. If a Scholar receives a grade point average in any semester that is less than 2.0, then that student's scholarship is subject to termination at the Foundation's discretion.
In order to appeal, the student must (1) notify the Foundation immediately of the student's intent to appeal, (2) meet with a counselor or counselors designated by the Foundation, and (3) furnish the Foundation with a detailed written statement describing the student's academic problems and the student's plan to correct these problems. The student will then be notified in writing whether the Foundation has granted or denied the appeal and, if the appeal is granted, any conditions imposed by the Foundation for continuing the scholarship.
How is the amount of the Terry Scholarship determined?
Taking into account other scholarships that the student may receive and the student's and parents' financial resources, the Foundation provides sufficient assistance to cover tuition, books, fees, and reasonable living expenses on campus. The actual specific amount of the stipend will vary for each Scholar, depending on the other scholarship awards and the ability of the Scholar's family to contribute to the cost of college.
The Foundation encourages Scholars to apply for any other financial assistance for which they may be qualified so that the Foundation's financial resources may be extended to help as many students as possible.
What about Pell Grants?
Pell Grants are federal grants of financial aid to college students whose family income falls below a certain level. Terry Scholar applicants are encouraged to apply for a Pell Grant if qualified. Receiving a Pell Grant does not disqualify an applicant from being awarded a Terry Scholarship.
How are scholarship funds distributed?
Each semester, the Foundation transmits directly to the financial aid office of each university the amount awarded each Scholar for that semester. The university will disburse the funds in payment of tuition, fees, and housing (for Scholars living on campus). Any excess is paid to the Scholar in a lump sum for use in defraying educational expenses for that semester. If a Scholar withdraws from school and receives a refund or otherwise does not use the money for the purposes intended, the remainder must be refunded by the Scholar to the Foundation.
Does the Terry Scholarship require that a Scholar live on campus?
Freshmen are required to live on campus. After their first year, Scholars are free to live off campus if they wish to do so. However, living off campus can be substantially more expensive and the scholarship amount set by the Foundation is based on the estimated cost of living on campus.
What other requirements are applicable to Terry Scholars?
At the end of each year, each Terry Scholar is required to submit a self-evaluation letter to the Foundation's Directors. This letter should discuss how well the student has achieved the educational, leadership, and other individual goals set for the previous year, establish goals for the coming year, and describe the specific steps that the student intends to take to meet those goals. These letters are not graded, but they are carefully read by the Directors. The Directors will counsel with those whose letters are considered unsatisfactory. Former Terry Scholars who have been through the program have found these letters to be a valuable exercise in self-evaluation.
What functions are Scholars required to attend?
The Foundation hosts three events each year which Scholars are required to attend. At the beginning of each academic year, the Foundation holds an orientation session at each of the universities. At these programs, the upperclassmen have a chance to meet the new Terry Scholars and give practical suggestions on such things as particular classes and professors that inspired them and the value of different leadership opportunities on campus. The freshmen also receive valuable information about the nature of the Terry program and are told what to expect. At the same meeting, present and former students, as well as educational professionals, discuss development of effective study skills to help a student make the most of the educational opportunity offered by the Foundation.
In addition to these programs, the Foundation sponsors a dinner in the fall at each university that is attended by the Directors and special invited guests. In the spring, all of the Scholars from each of the universities travel by bus to relax and visit in a more informal setting at a picnic, where the accomplishments of the graduating seniors are recognized.
Can the Terry Scholarship be suspended while a Scholar takes time off?
Once a Terry Scholar has entered college, it is assumed that they will attend each term/semester, except summers, until completion of degree. If a Scholar is absent from school for a school-approved activity such as a work study program, study abroad, or internship program that does not last longer than one year, the scholarship will be available for the full remaining term, not counting the time off against the scholarship, when the student returns to school. If a student takes time off (other than summers) for personal reasons, the scholarship is terminated and the Foundation cannot guarantee that the scholarship will be available if and when the student returns to school.
If extraordinary circumstances make it necessary for a Scholar to leave college for a period of time, the Scholar may request a leave of absence from the program. The request must be made in writing to the Foundation. If granted, the Scholar will be able to resume receiving the Terry Scholar award upon return to school.
The written request should include the reasons why the Scholar needs to leave school, the estimated length of absence, and the expected date of return. If the request is granted, the Scholar will receive a written reply with instructions as to how to reinstate the award upon return to campus.
Why is the Terry Scholarship adjusted up or down for other scholarships received?
From time to time, the Terry Foundation Board may adjust the amount of a Scholar’s stipend, based on reviews of the level of each student’s financial need. Among the factors taken into account are the ever-increasing cost of education and changes in a student’s financial resources. In addition, one of the other items reviewed is additional scholarships received or other scholarships that may have expired or terminated. When the Terry stipend is increased or decreased based on these factors, it is not to penalize Scholars who have received other awards or to reward students for having lost other scholarships: the adjustment in the Terry stipend is based on changes in the level of financial need. The decision to increase or decrease a scholarship is always a direct reflection of financial need.
The Terry Scholarship is not designed to be simply a reward to a good student. If that were the only goal, students with the highest grades and test scores could all be given the same amount. There are scholarships like that, but the Terry Scholarship is not one of them.
The goal of the Terry Scholarship program is to identify students with financial need, evaluate that need through an application and a personal interview, and then to fill (but not overfill) that financial need. To that end, the Terry Scholarship, like almost all other large need-based programs, calculates the amount of a student’s scholarship taking into account other available financial aid from private sources as well as the government. Every student who accepts a Terry Scholarship signs a letter acknowledging that the scholarship is based on financial need and agrees to provide information on these other scholarships to help evaluate the level of that need.
How does a Terry Scholarship differ from other scholarships?
Unlike many scholarship programs, the selection as a Terry Scholar is not simply based on financial need, test scores, or grade point average. Instead, Terry Scholars are chosen because they exhibit a well-rounded personality, grounded in a desire to succeed, and a demonstrated history of community leadership.
The Terry Foundation program does not consist merely of issuing checks once a semester. The Foundation stays in close contact with each Scholar and expects the Scholars to assist each other whenever they are able to do so. If a Scholar's grades slip unexpectedly, or there is an indication of a problem, it is likely that a student will be contacted directly by one of the Directors to offer advice and encouragement.
Similar to Mr. and Mrs. Terry, the Foundation’s Directors take great pride in the accomplishments of all of the scholarship recipients and care very much about the Scholars as people. Terry Scholars can be confident that the Foundation will be there to help them to help themselves.