The Watson-Brown Foundation Board of Trustees recently completed the selection of scholars for the 2005-2006 year. A 58 percent increase in the number of new applications was received over last year, with a total of 1,174 students applying for the 134 available slots, bringing the total awards to 388. Of those 134, the average SAT score was 1310 and the average GPA score was 3.8.
The foundation awards two types of scholarships. Merit scholarships are awarded primarily on outstanding scholastic statistics. Merit and need scholarships are awarded after considering factors such as academic performance, extracurricular achievement, personal hardship, financial need and geographic location. The vast majority of scholarship recipients are from the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) of Georgia and South Carolina. This year, 13 new merit scholarships were given, along with 121 merit and need scholarships bringing the annual funding to $1,224,000.
Students awarded scholarships were: Jessica N. Bell, Mallory J. Bradshaw, Lauren E. Brown, Stacy P. Cason, Robert B. Dixon, Margaret L. Dowda, Carl M. Jenkins, Claudette S. Lamkin, Pamela M. Overman, Otis J. Rabun, Albert L. Rocha, Matthew B. Smith, Michael A. Thomas, Cynthia A. Tyler, Melissa Usry and Wesley A. Walker, all of Thomson. Also receiving scholarships were Kristen Burch, Lakeshia Davis, Stephanie L. Gibson and Donald R. Toulson, all of Dearing; and Andrew C. Davis of Warrenton.
Five Georgia schools will have the largest number of Watson-Brown Foundation scholars walking their campuses during the 2005-2006 school year. They are the University of Georgia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia College and State University, Augusta State University and Mercer University.
"The scholastic applicant pool for the Foundation continues to raise the bar over previous years" states Mary Anne Coussons, director of Scholarships. "An exciting element for the Foundation this year; however, was the huge increase in scholars from the 15 county priority areas."
The mission statement of the Foundation, in part, states it is to "improve education in the American South by funding its schools and students."
Mrs. Coussons emphasized the critical role the foundation also plays in the overall national goal of improving access to higher education through its scholarship program.
"Through the Foundation's financial assistance to all applicable students, many who might not otherwise consider college, realize the scholarship program offers them that opportunity. Not only will a larger group consider higher education, but the program offers our scholars the choice of colleges, creating a more diverse selection of institutions," she said.
The Watson-Brown Foundation was created by the late Walter J. Brown primarily as a scholarship program in 1970. Information on the scholarship program may be obtained by contacting Mrs. Coussons, Watson-Brown Foundation, 310 Tom Watson Way, Thomson, GA 30824, by phone (706) 595-8886 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.