Florida A&M University officials said its three-city scholarship bus tour was not only successful in community outreach, but also helped in strengthening the university’s enrollment and budget.
The university awarded $554,000 in scholarships to high school students in Gainesville, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach, during the week of March 12.
Chief Communication Officer Sharon Saunders said without the university actively pursuing students, it would not have reached its’ enrollment goals.
“The students that we were able to recruit during the tour will generate new dollars for the university and build enrollment,” Saunders said.
In Gainesville, 10 students received full scholarships and five partial scholarships were offered ranging from $8,000 to $24,000 over a four-year period based on students’ SAT, ACT and grade point averages.
At Palm Beach Lakes High school, one student received a full scholarship.
According to a press release, FAMU’s President James Ammons, said the tour was a success.
“It was a great tour,” Ammons said in a university press release. “It gave us an opportunity to recruit some of the best and brightest students the state of Florida has to offer.”
Krystan McAulay, a North Miami Beach Senior High School student, was FAMU’s top scholarship winner.
Ammons awarded McAulay the first tour’s Life-Gets-Better Scholarship.
An $80,000 value, it covers tuition, books, room, board and a stipend.
It also includes a laptop computer and summer internships.
“We wanted students and their parents to know that even though these are tough economic times for many, FAMU has made a commitment to the academically talented,” Ammons said.
Presidential Ambassador Brian Waritay, a fourth-year professional MBA student from Charlotte, N.C., who was not able to attend the tour, said it’s important that the university awards scholarships.
“By offering scholarships to deserving students it shows we’re committed to them and we’re investing in their talents,” Waritay said.
Vice President of Student Affairs, Roland Gaines, did not return phone calls for comment but, according to Saunders despite budget cuts, FAMU has not capped its’ freshman enrollment and can still recruit.
Saunders said the tour helped students learn that “FAMU is a caring and nurturing environment where they can acquire a quality education that will prepare them for the real world.”
When representing FAMU, Waritay said he and other presidential ambassadors want prospective students to see the level of passion they have for FAMU.
“We want them to know FAMU as a place to grow and learn about yourself,” Waritay said. “We’re more like a family.”