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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

William & Mary Partners with Virginia High Schools to Expand Access

Through the partnership, William & Mary will provide fee waivers to all applicants from the SCHEV-identified high schools. In addition, each school is encouraged to submit up to 10 nominations for the William & Mary Scholars Program. (Photo by Alfred Herczeg)

WILLIAMSBURG — William & Mary is partnering with Virginia high schools to identify and nominate high-achieving, limited-income students for a scholarship and mentoring program at the university that covers the full cost of in-state tuition and fees.

The Commonwealth Impact Partnership Program, launched this semester, is part of William & Mary’s ongoing efforts to expand access to the university for first-generation and limited-income students, according to a W&M News report.

It is aimed at high schools identified by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to participate in the Virginia College Application Week initiative each fall.

“The Commonwealth Impact Partners Program is another way for us to let high schools know we have the resources to support these outstanding, limited-income students. They belong at William & Mary,” LaToya Lawson, associate dean of admission, is quoted in the story. “We want to give them a voice to tell us about academically distinguished students that they think are going to flourish and excel here.”

Through the partnership, William & Mary will provide fee waivers to all applicants from the SCHEV-identified high schools. In addition, each school is encouraged to submit up to 10 nominations for the William & Mary Scholars Program, according to the report. Owing to the success of the program, the university’s goal is to expand the size of its enrolling cohort from 50 to 100 — doubling its size.

The highly selective program provides awards each year to academically distinguished students with diverse backgrounds, talents and experiences, it added. By working with high schools, undergraduate admission staff members can help counselors better understand the admission process and the many pathways available to William & Mary.

“If William & Mary is the place a talented student wants to be, we can work with them to bring the university within reach,” said Lawson.

The awards cover at least the full cost of in-state tuition and fees, and the scholars have access to advising and other support through the W&M Scholars Undergraduate Research Experience Program, according to the W&M News report.

Lawson said that she’s already received a great response from high school counselors about the new program and that she looks forward to seeing how this partnership bolsters W&M’s efforts to reach students from limited-income backgrounds.

“It’s hard work, but it’s necessary work,” she said. “I really feel that everybody in this office understands why this is important, and that’s why we do what we do.”

Read the full article on W&M News.

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