Trying to figure out how to pay for college can be one of the most stressful predicaments of a 16-to-18-year-old’s life. Luckily for Wyoming residents, our state does an incredible job of making college affordable. For all in-state high school students considering the University of Wyoming, the first thing you should be focusing on is the Hathaway Scholarship.
This is probably the most frequently used/applied for scholarship in Wyoming, and for good reason. Minus expenses for room and board, it is entirely possible to cover the mass majority of tuition just with the Hathaway Scholarship.
Even though Wyoming makes it extremely affordable to pay for college, preparation needs to start in high school, or even before that. There are four different tiers to the Hathaway, each with varying levels of requirement and award.
- Honors Level: $1,680/semester. Requires a 3.5 GPA and 25 ACT score.
- Performance Level: $1,260/semester. Requires a 3.0 GPA and 21 ACT score.
- Opportunity Level: $840/semester. Requires a 2.5 GPA and 19 ACT score.
- Provisional Opportunity: $840/semester. Requires 2.5 GPA and 17 ACT score or 12 WorkKeys. (Good for four semesters at a Wyoming junior college, plus four semesters at UW after degree completion at junior college.)
There is also a required set of courses to be completed at the time of graduation for high school students, so you can see why you need to have the Hathaway in mind before you even get to your senior year. There are a few simple things you can do to make sure you get as much as you can out of the Hathaway program.
- You’ll need to have your class schedule in line with the list of required courses. You don’t want to get to your last semester of high school and realize you are short a foreign language credit. Coordinate with your school’s counselor to make sure your class schedule works.
- Set a GPA goal. You should have a tier of the Hathaway in mind at this point, so you know what grade point average you will need to have at graduation. Keep up with your GPA so that you don’t get any unpleasant surprises when you get your transcript.
- Take the ACT multiple times. Yes, it may cost you some money to take the ACT again. But spending $50 to bump your ACT from 22 to 25 can save you thousands of dollars over the course of college. Unlike your GPA, you can use several attempts on the ACT, which gives you a great chance of jumping from a lower tier to a higher one. There are also several ACT prep courses that have been found to boost scores as well.
- One thing that has changed from past years is the opening date for applying for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The new date is Oct. 1, 2016, for the 2017–18 academic year, which is much earlier than previous years. If you are applying for the need-based Hathaway or any financial aid, including scholarships, you will be required to complete the application.
UW’s 2016–17 estimated tuition, before room and board, is $1,860 /semester for Wyoming residents. Compared to other regional universities, where it would cost a non-resident around $28,000 per year, Wyoming’s tuition is already extremely affordable.
When you add the Hathaway on top of that affordable tuition, it’s clear that Wyoming really does give its residents a great benefit in providing the Hathaway Scholarship. A great education that doesn’t break the bank—can’t beat that!