TEXAS PROVIDES A SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR FUTURE SERVICE MEMBERS
While Texans use the month of November to thank our veterans, we also want to help our future service men and women get their college educations. It is because of this desire to help that the 82nd Texas Legislature approved sufficient funding to provide new awards for the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program for the 2012-2013 biennium. The purpose of the program is to encourage students to participate in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs at civilian colleges. A student must meet specific eligibility criteria in order to receive an initial scholarship award. In addition to the eligibility criteria, a student must enter into an agreement requiring a four-year commitment as a member of the Texas Army National Guard, member of the Texas Air Force National Guard, or a commissioned officer in any branch of the armed services of the United States.
Annually, the governor and the lieutenant governor may each appoint two students, and each state senator and each state representative may appoint one student to receive a conditional Texas Armed Services Scholarship. A maximum of 185 students may be appointed statewide. A student may received up to $10,000 for the 2011-2012 academic year, and dependent on funding available, students may receive continued scholarship awards.
My office has started accepting scholarship applications from students who reside in House District 32. Each state representative has been asked to nominate one student to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Eligibility for Nomination
In order to be considered for the Texas Armed Services Scholarship, a student must meet two of the following four academic criteria at the time of the application:
Is on track to graduate high school with the Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP) or the International Baccalaureate Program (IB);
Has a current high school GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
Achieve a college readiness score on the SAT (1590) or ACT (23);
Is currently ranked in the top one-third of the prospective high school graduation class.
Once a student is nominated, a number of criteria must be met for the nominated student to be eligible for receipt of an initial scholarship. The student must be a member in good standing of the ROTC. A selected student must also enter into a written agreement with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board agreeing to complete four years of ROTC training and graduate no later than six years after the date the student first registers at an institution of higher education.
No later than six months after graduation, the selected student must provide the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board with verification of a four-year commitment to be a member of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air Force National Guard, Texas State Guard, U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Merchant Marines; or a contract to serve as a commissioned officer in any branch of the United States Armed Forces. A selected student must meet all prescreening requirements of the Texas Army, the Texas Air Force National Guard, Texas State Guard, U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Merchant Marines, or the appropriate branch of the armed services. The student must repay the scholarship if the student fails to meet the requirements for obtaining the scholarship.
This is an exciting opportunity for any student seeking to enter the armed forces by way of a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program at a civilian college. If you are a student who would like to be nominated for this scholarship program, please submit a cover letter along with proof that you have met the required academic criteria to either my Capitol office in Austin or my District office in Corpus Christi.
If you would like any additional information on the Texas Armed Services Scholarship Program, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol or District office (512-463-0672; 361-949-4603). The scholarship is administered by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Questions can also be directed to the board’s Office of External Relations which can be reached at 512-427-6117.
As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).