Wingate has long offered significant academic scholarships for undergraduate study. Beginning next fall, the University will offer qualified incoming students scholarships for their graduate education as well. Recipients of the Graduate Advantage Scholarship, valued at up to $10,000, will be able to apply it to one of Wingate’s master’s or doctoral programs as soon as they complete their undergrad requirements at Wingate and are admitted to a graduate program.
“Offering a grad-school scholarship to a high school graduate before they ever take their first undergraduate course is a bit of a risky venture, but it fits with our lab of difference-making philosophy at Wingate,” says University President Dr. Rhett Brown. “We aren’t afraid to experiment and try new initiatives, especially when we believe they can create more opportunities for students to better their socioeconomic standing.”
Dr. Eva Baucom, Wingate’s vice president for enrollment management, describes the scholarship as “our way of letting incoming students know that Wingate is committed to providing them with a pathway to reach their goals.”
“We know our bachelor’s degree programs will prepare them well for graduate school, so we don’t want any student to stop short of where they want to go because of a financial barrier,” adds Baucom, who earned her doctorate in education from Wingate.
She believes the scholarship program will also serve as an added incentive for first-year students to apply themselves diligently to their academic pursuits so that when the time comes to apply to graduate school, they will meet the criteria for acceptance.
All incoming undergraduate students — first-time freshmen, early-college students, and transfers — admitted for fall 2023 and beyond will be candidates for the scholarship regardless of their major or even if they have not declared a major when they enroll.
To take advantage of the scholarship, recipients must be accepted into their program of choice. They must enroll in the grad program within a year of completing their undergraduate requirements, maintain full-time-student status and make satisfactory academic progress in their graduate coursework to receive the full amount of the scholarship, which will be applied in increments of $2,500 over the course of up to four semesters.
For programs that can be completed in one year or are labeled as +1 programs, the scholarship will be applied to fewer than four semesters and may not amount to $10,000. Funds from the scholarship can be applied to tuition only.
Incoming high school students do not have to apply for the scholarship. Their application to Wingate will make them eligible for consideration. Once they have been admitted, students will receive a follow-up email from Baucom informing them that they have qualified for the Graduate Advantage Scholarship.
Wingate offers master’s programs in education, teaching, physician assistant studies, sport management, public health, accounting and business administration. Doctoral degrees are offered in physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy and education. In addition to these programs, the Graduate Advantage Scholarship can be applied to future graduate programs that are started within a recipient’s time at Wingate. For example, the University plans over the next few years to add master’s degrees in social work and clinical mental health counseling.
Baucom says she understands that graduate school may seem like a long way off for incoming first-year students, but she wants them to know even before they set foot on campus that Wingate is committed to them for the long haul.
“We’re ready to help students achieve their educational and career goals from their first day as a Bulldog,” she says.