Community Funds Hill College Scholarships For 92 Burleson Students
Burleson Opportunity Fund Guarantees College for Achievers
Ninety-two Burleson high school graduates will attend Hill College this fall on scholarships provided by the Burleson Higher Education Opportunity Fund. At the annual BOF Orientation Luncheon, hosted by Hill College on Monday, the students were congratulated and given words of encouragement from BISD Superintendent Dr. Bret Jimerson, Hill College President Dr. Pamela Boehm, and the City of Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter.
“As educators, we strive to inspire and in return be inspired by our students. I definitely experienced inspiration today,” said Nancy Wylie Holland, dean for Hill College’s Burleson center. “It was a fantastic feeling to be surrounded by so many students excited about learning and ready to begin a new life journey through education.”
“Many thanks to those individuals and corporations that opened their hearts and generously gave, affording our youth of today the opportunity to attain a higher education, becoming productive citizens with skills to enter many career fields,” Holland said.
To qualify, a student must be a graduate of a Burleson ISD high school or be a Burleson resident graduating from a non-Burleson ISD public high school, an accredited private high school, or an accredited home school program. For details on qualifying for the program, visit www.burlesonoppfund.com to review the online Applicant & Recipient Handbook or call one of the contacts listed on that website.
Seventy-one of the students are entering Hill College for the first time. The other 21 represent second-year students. Initially, BOF guaranteed funding for just the first year. But it has been so successful, with support from the community, that second-year funding was added last year. Additionally, second-year students with a grade point average of 3.0 or better receive book vouchers of $500 for fall and another $500 for the spring semester.
Funding for these scholarships is generously provided by Burleson businesses and community supporters of education. Most of the funding is raised at a single event: The Breakfast of Champions, held in October, raised over $135,000 in 2013.
Achievements of the BOF include:
- 225 Students have received Burleson Opportunity Fund Scholarships to-date
- The total tuition paid for these young scholars to-date is $429,045.34
- BOF students have successfully completed over 4400 college credit hours
- The average GPA of BOF scholars is 2.85 (average for freshman is 2.29)
- BOF average retention rate is 75% (average for freshman is 60%)
- 95% of the funds raised by the Burleson Opportunity Fund go directly to fund scholarships
About the Fund
The Burleson Opportunity Fund is a scholarship program open to all high school graduates who live or attend school in Burleson, Texas. The ultimate goal of the Burleson Opportunity Fund is to provide every high school graduate from Burleson the opportunity to attain post-secondary education.
The Burleson Opportunity Fund was created with a mission to change the expectations of students, teachers, and parents to include the idea that all Burleson high school graduates will have the opportunity to attain higher education and to cultivate the economic development benefits of expanding the attainment of post-secondary degrees and career certifications.
History of the Fund
As part of the City of Burleson's Strengthening Families Initiative, a group of individuals representing education, social service, city government, healthcare, and faith-based institutions met in early 2007 to brainstorm ways the Burleson community could better serve families, children, and youth. One idea discussed was the creation of an endowment which would provide Burleson graduates greater access to post-secondary education.
In order for a scholarship fund to make a substantial impact on the community as a whole, however, it would have to open the doors of higher education to a significant portion of the population that would not otherwise continue their education beyond high school.
Building an endowment to pay four years' tuition for every Burleson graduate may be out of reach for now, however, it is well within our community's current capacity to ensure that far more of our young adults quickly transition from high school to higher education. Hill College, a comprehensive community college, has an established center in the City of Burleson. With tuition to Hill College being economical, it is possible to build a scholarship fund that would guarantee two years' tuition to every Burleson graduate who wanted to attend.