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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Opening the gates

Most of the first-generation students at Wofford come from the Spartanburg community. Five out of the 15 total scholarships will be given specifically to local students.
Most of the first-generation students at Wofford come from the Spartanburg community. Five out of the 15 total scholarships will be given specifically to local students.

By: Katherine Waters, Staff Writer

Wofford is quickly building a reputation as being one of the top schools in the nation in helping students with financial aid. The most recent endeavor is to provide $300,000 to students who are the first in their family to attend college. Current first-generation students are excited about this announcement, and believe that the college and the community will benefit from it.

“I definitely think that it’s going to bring a little more diversity to the socioeconomic levels of the student,” says Robyn Cornett, Wofford sophomore and first-generation student. “The rate at which students get financial aid here is a lot higher than at other schools, not only because it’s a little more expensive because it’s private, but because they really want those students who are willing to put in a little more work to go to a better school.”

Wofford has plans to divide the money into 15 scholarships, five of which will be given specifically to residents of the Spartanburg community. Whitney Mabry, also a first-generation student, thinks that the scholarships will not only help the community by providing students an education that they might not receive otherwise, but will also help the school.

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“I think that there’s going to be a lot more local students coming because they’re doing this for our community. And it’s going to give back to our community. Most people that were born and raised here, if they go to Wofford, they’ll more than likely stay here, and if they have good jobs, they might give back to Wofford. So it’s going to boost Wofford up in Spartanburg.”

Cornett believes that the admissions process at Wofford stands out above the process at other schools and that it made a big difference in her deciding where to go to college.

“Whenever I got my award letter, it was surprising as to how much they were willing to help us out. And then always having that reassurance of ‘if there ever is an issue, don’t let tuition be a reason that you can’t come.’ There was always that option to write an appeal and say ‘hey look, I really want to go here, this is the problem.’ So I think that that was something pretty outstanding for Wofford versus other schools. It definitely made my choice in coming here a little easier.”

Mabry says that overall, the admissions process was easy, and the website provided more help than a lot of the college websites she looked at, but the only thing she would have changed about the admissions process would be to have someone at Wofford who could help with FAFSA forms and other financial aid applications. Other first generation students might run into the same problems when applying for financial aid because their parents didn’t have to do the same.

In addition to the new scholarships, Wofford has recently been named as one of the “Top Colleges doing the most for Low-Income Students” by the New York Times. This is the second financial aid title given to Wofford, along with last year’s label of being one of the most economically diverse schools.

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