FORT WORTH — Students that transfer to Texas Wesleyan University in the fall could get their tuition paid with the private university’s new “Smaller. Smarter. Promise Scholarship.”The private institution’s new scholarship would provide free tuition to first-time students that make the grades but lack the cash. It’s targeted at students leaving community colleges, such as Tarrant County College, who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and remain enrolled full-time. Applicants would need to enter Wesleyan with at least 42 credit hours and be eligible for the full amount of the federal Pell Grant.Wesleyan President Frederick G. Slabach said the scholarship was formed with TCC in mind, though anyone who meets the requirements can apply. “The idea came from what we understand is a perception on the part of students in community colleges that all private universities are unaffordable — but that is not the case,” Slabach said. The average cost of tuition at Wesleyan is $19,658 a year.Slabach said a majority of Wesleyan’s transfer students come from TCC — 54 percent in fall 2013, for example. This is why TCC Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley also met with Slabach on Wednesday to sign a new articulation agreement to streamline the transfer process between the institutions.The agreement formally outlines what credit hours are transferable. Students with associate’s degrees from TCC will have junior status at Wesleyan upon transfer. “It’s a way to make sure they stay on track and don’t spend money they don’t have,” Slabach said. “It really has to do with a question of certainty. Students want to know exactly which of their courses will transfer, and it’s a huge issue for those students.”Changes to Wesleyan and TCC’s curriculum and degree plans called for an update to their graduation path, Slabach said. The last time Wesleyan signed a formal articulation agreement with TCC was in 1997. Advisers should be able to tell TCC students exactly what courses they need to take to get credit upon transfer and not lose any hours. “… We are serious about our role as advocates for our students and view this agreement as another opportunity to bolster their numbers beyond the current 50 percent who comprise Wesleyan’s transfer students,” Hadley said in a prepared statement.
Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792 Twitter:@MonicaNagyFWST