Affordability is one of many reasons students choose to begin their higher education at Weatherford College. But despite WC’s low tuition rates, the dreams of many of those students would not become reality without the assistance of scholarships.
That’s where the Weatherford College Foundation comes in.
The Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships since 2010. More than $242,000 has been awarded for the 2017-18 academic year so far – that’s double the amount of scholarships given six years ago.
That upward trajectory is allowing more students like Ashli Savage to attend college worry-free.
“I am a mother of three and money is very tight with me in school, so any help is so beneficial in helping me make my dreams come true, and doing so without putting me in debt,” said Savage, a nursing student and recipient of the Michael Feely Memorial Scholarship for Fall 2017. “This scholarship will ultimately help me get a step closer to my goals.”
WC students are able to apply to dozens of potential scholarships by a single online application found at www.wc.edu/scholarships. Most scholarships award $1,000 per long semester and can be renewed for another term if the student is successful.
Scholarship funds are generated by ongoing donations, estate gifts and fundraising events.
The WC Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of about two dozen community volunteers with Bob Glenn currently serving as board president.
“I am so proud to be a part of an organization that embraces the sole mission of ensuring that educational opportunities are available to those who need financial assistance,” Glenn said. “Through the years, countless students have benefited from the efforts of our Foundation, and we continue to maintain and build on our resources to make certain we are able to provide financial assistance to students of Weatherford College for future years as well.”
Among area colleges and universities, www.collegeforalltexans.com shows WC to be an affordable option with tuition and fees for the 2017-18 academic year totaling $2,440 for the average student. Costs for the same year at neighboring universities included Tarleton State University at $8,213, the University of Texas at Arlington at $9,380 and the University of North Texas at $10,480.
WC Foundation scholarships can cut annual tuition and fees to less than $500 per student.
Sterling Ford, recipient of the M.S. and Meek Lane Doss Scholarship, said the offer of financial support made his college decision easy.
“Going to a large university was my original plan; however, I realized it would hurt my parents and myself to spend thousands of dollars . . . when I can attend a community college equipped with a friendly staff, an excellent program, the latest technology and the chance to develop a personal relationship with my professors,” Ford said. “A scholarship means I can spend less time worrying about how I am going to pay for tuition and spend more time focusing all my energy on learning everything I possibly can.”
Students aren’t the only ones feeling good about WC scholarships. Over the years, donors have enjoyed hearing from those who benefit from their generosity.
Debbie Alexander sees students every day working as the executive assistant for Mike Endy, WC’s Vice President of Instruction and Student Services. Alexander is also the administrator of the estate of her late mother, Mary Zielinski.
“My mom had a huge heart and believed in education,” Alexander said. “She was a single mom who put herself through nursing school while raising five kids. I knew that starting a scholarship to help others would bring a huge smile to her face.”
Through her mother’s estate, Alexander has been able to not only establish the Mary M. Zielinski Scholarship but she has also helped endow several other WC scholarship funds.
“It warms my heart knowing that I am doing something she would be so proud of,” she said. “Having the scholarships established where I work and seeing the smiles on the recipients’ faces
. . . that’s priceless.”