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Georgia Southwestern launches scholarship program for new students in Southwest Georgia affected by Hurricane Michael

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) has announced a new scholarship program, “Southwestern Promise,” which guarantees scholarships of either $1,000 or $2,000 to beginning freshmen who live in a 56-county region of Southwest Georgia.

GSW hopes this new program will lessen the financial burden of college for many high school students in the region who may have been impacted by Hurricane Michael’s aftermath.

“Hurricane Michael devastated much of our state, with Southwest Georgia taking the brunt of the impact,” said GSW President Neal Weaver. “In restructuring GSW’s scholarship granting process, we wanted to develop a program that both prioritizes the students and families of Southwest Georgia and supports academic excellence. We believe the ‘Southwestern Promise’ scholarship program does just that.”

President Weaver launched the new program on Monday, November 12 on the campuses of Lee County High School and Americus-Sumter High School, two area schools where numerous high school students are currently taking dual enrollment courses through GSW.

Launching in Fall 2019, the program offers two levels of “Southwestern Promise” scholarships. Students with 1100/22 SAT/ACT scores and 3.0 GPA qualify for the “Blue” level $1,000 scholarship. Students with 1200/25 SAT/ACT scores and 3.0 GPA qualify for the “Gold” level $2,000 scholarship. The scholarship automatically renews each year up to four years – total – for students who maintain a 3.0 GPA.

“Students’ situations may have changed due to the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael,” stated Weaver, “but we don’t want any student to be forced to postpone college. We hope this new program reaffirms our commitment to the families of our region.”

“Georgia Southwestern is pleased to partner with students from our home base of Southwest Georgia for this commitment to our region,” stated Gaye Hayes, assistant vice president for enrollment management. “Together, we can achieve great things and we look forward to helping students from our region realize their career goals.”

The “Southwestern Promise” leverages the scholarship dollars already provided by the Georgia Southwestern Foundation and the many donors who support GSW.

For students hoping to receive a “Southwestern Promise” scholarship, there is no deadline for those who live in the 56-county area, and no scholarship application is required. Students living outside the 56-county area are eligible to receive the scholarship based on funding availability and must apply by February 1, 2019.

Weaver will also be visiting Southland Academy and Schley County High School in the coming days to make the announcement.

The 56-county region includes: Atkinson, Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brooks, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Grady, Harris, Houston, Irwin, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Miller, Mitchell, Muscogee, Peach, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Worth.