Since the 1990s, Tyler Junior College has found a way to acknowledge the achievements and hard work of area high school students by offering scholarships to the top 10 percent.

“These scholarships are awarded to high school students from TJC service areas who graduated in one of the top ten positions of their senior class,” according to TJC.

The Texas Legislature created the Top 10 percent scholarship to encourage students to participate in a Texas public institution after high school.

“The Top 10 percent scholarship was created to promote and encourage academic excellence in students that are prepared to come to TJC,” said Kim Russell, vice president, Advancement/External Affairs.

As a result, TJC started a breakfast/luncheon for senior students who were offered the scholarship, hosted by TJC’s president Mike Metke. There are 23 schools participating in the scholarship program including, Robert E. Lee High School, John Tyler High School, Jacksonville High School, Chapel Hill High School and Van High School.

The reception was offered to the top 10 ranked students at each school to tell them about TJC, what is offered to them, and the programs and opportunities at TJC.

“During the reception, TJC has a meal for the students, talks to them about the scholarship, student life activities, admissions and financial aid,” said Shelby Brown, scholarship coordinator.

In the academic year of 2009-2010, the top 10 percent scholarships and reception played a role in recruiting 84 students to come to TJC.

“TJC was a very good school to come to. Although it wasn’t my first choice, I’m glad I came,” said Christina Tindel, participant in the Top 10 percent Scholarship.

From the Top 10 Scholarship, students who are eligible receive $1,000 dollars a semester for two years.

“The Top 10 percent Scholarship played a huge role in influencing me to come here because my schooling is basically paid for,” said Tindel.

Students have to continue to work hard to keep the scholarship.

According to TJC, recipients must maintain full-time enrollment, a 3.0 cumulative G.P.A., and attend annual scholarship events.

Having these duties encourages students to continue succeeding and pursuing a college career.

The turnout of the reception and scholarship to the top 10 percent has been great to some, and has helped students complete TJC and move on to a four-year institution.

In the year of 2008-2009, 32 students graduated from TJC who were recruited on the Top 10 Scholarship.

Since Top 10 percent Scholarship began, it has encouraged students to attend and graduate from TJC.

“The Top 10 Scholarship has helped recruit academically talented high school students in East Texas,” said Brown.

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