Transferring to a four-year university and getting a bachelor’s degree may be the objective of many community college students, but not everyone can afford the high cost. Luckily, there are several private scholarships available to help students financially. The Terry Transfer Scholarship is one of the most competitive grants.
Ezra Calado won the Terry Transfer Scholarship as a student at Richland. She is now pursuing a degree in accounting and global business with a minor in international political economy from the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas).
“Ever since I started school in the U.S. it was always clear to my family that my parents couldn’t afford to send my siblings and all to college,” Calado said. “So throughout my middle school and high school career, I made it a goal to take that burden away [from] my parents and graduate college debt free.
“I applied for the Terry scholarship because it put me one step closer to reaching that goal and without it, I would probably not be able to continue my studies at UTD.”
The Terry Transfer Foundation, based in Houston, is the largest private scholarship provider in Texas. It emphasizes helping outstanding students pursue their educational goals at 13 affiliated Texas public universities. Terry-affiliated universities include: The University of Texas at Austin (branches in San Antonio, Dallas, Arlington and El Paso), Texas State University, Sam Houston State University, Texas Tech University, Texas Woman’s University, Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Galveston, the University of Houston and the University of North Texas.
The transfer scholarship of at least $13,000 per year, up to 65 percent of official tuition and six semesters of funding in all majors, is only available for the summer and fall semesters. The scholarship winner also has the opportunity to study abroad for one semester and receive extensive support through fellow scholars, foundation staff and on-campus advisers.
While the Terry Transfer Scholarship is prestigious, it is extremely competitive as well. There are many requirements for applicants, but the focus is on outstanding academic performance and strong leadership skills.
“At first glance, the application is long and difficult,” Calado said. “I’d say it was pretty personal and required some self-reflection. There were times that I didn’t want to finish the application because my personal stories felt shallow or it was a struggle to put my dreams and goals for all to see.”
“Although the whole application process was difficult, it was worth it because the Terry Foundation continues to invest in students like me, giving us the gift of time with the scholarship,” Calado said. “I definitely encourage others to apply for the same gifts and opportunities.”
Applicants for the Terry Transfer Scholarship must be enrolled, accepted and nominated by one of the Terry-affiliated Texas public universities that offer the scholarship. They must be admitted as a full-time transfer student for the purpose of completing a first baccalaureate degree. Summer and fall deadlines for applications are set by each school.
The scholarship is only available to students within Texas. Applicants must meet U.S. and Texas residency and citizenship requirements to qualify for in-state tuition and federal aid assistance. They must be current continuous residents of Texas for at least three years at the time of application and at least 20 years old on May 1 of the year in which the application is submitted.
To win the scholarship, applicants must exhibit outstanding academic achievement. Students must have completed at least 30 hours of transferable, post high school credit hours at a Texas college or university and have a minimum of 3.0 GPA. A strong record of leadership in school and the community and demonstration of financial need are required.
There is no Terry Transfer representative at Richland currently, but the Richland Honors Academy is available to help students with questions, applications or recommendation letters.
Contact Dr. Kathleen Stephens, Honors Academy coordinator, or any other honor advisers with questions. Otherwise, students may contact Terry-affiliated universities for details.