SMU is launching a major scholarship initiative to cover the cost of college for high-achieving Texas students with significant financial need.
Access SMU will break financial barriers to college entry and graduation – first for academically talented Texas students, with the goal to later expand the investment in more students who need help paying for college. The program will help high-achieving Texas students who receive federal Pell Grants to attend SMU regardless of financial means. Access SMU is expected to increase the number of first-generation students and students from underrepresented groups who earn their undergraduate degrees at SMU.
The awards will be available for the academic year that begins in fall 2022 for an estimated 250 students who:
- have been admitted to or are currently enrolled at SMU
- came directly from high school with a qualifying merit scholarship
- receive a federal Pell Grant
- have a permanent residence in Texas
- meet other requirements for Access SMU.
“We intend to open the doors to SMU for more bright, hard-working students who struggle with financing their education,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “More than 70 percent of our students receive some combination of academic awards and need-based financial aid, but even a small gap between available aid and the cost of education can be insurmountable. Access SMU will fill that gap for those who receive both federal Pell grants and the merit scholarships granted to our most gifted students.”
First-year students admitted to SMU are automatically considered for all available University scholarships for which they qualify. At the time of admission, students are notified of the combination of financial aid that is available for them. Pell grants are awarded by the federal government to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. However, the amount of the Pell Grant for which a student is eligible can vary from year to year depending on individual family circumstances and the maximum amount authorized annually by Congress.
The maximum Pell Grant award for 2022 – 2023 will be $6,895.
Access SMU is a significant step toward one of the major goals of the SMU Ignited fundraising campaign – to empower outstanding students to attend SMU and succeed, regardless of financial means. In addition to scholarship dollars, the campaign is also seeking support for programs that will help all students graduate on time and ready to succeed, as well as for a wide range of internships, stipends and international study support.
“This is another bold step in SMU’s commitment to students and Texas,” said Elizabeth Loboa, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “We want all outstanding students to learn more about SMU and to imagine themselves as a Mustang.”