Dr. Steve Westbrook and Hays Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright with others

Stephen F. Austin State University’s interim president Dr. Steve Westbrook and Hays Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright, both seated, sign an agreement naming Hays CISD as a partner in the university’s Distinguished High School Program.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University announced its naming of Hays Consolidated Independent School District as a partner chosen for inclusion in the university’s Distinguished High School Program during a recent signing event.

This partnership means that top-ranking graduates from high schools in the district will be automatically eligible for scholarships worth up to $20,000. Inclusion in the program also means all Hays students may waive the $50 application fee, and seniors ranking in the top 30% of their class are guaranteed admission to SFA.

“I’m proud of how many barriers our Distinguished High School Program is able to break down for students wishing to continue their educational journey,” said interim SFA President Dr. Steve Westbrook. “It’s one more layer in SFA’s expansive approach to making higher education affordable and accessible, and we’re thrilled to welcome Hays CISD as a partner excited to join us in that pursuit.”

Students from partner schools automatically receive scholarship money for up to four years based on their class rank. Of those who apply to SFA from distinguished program schools, students ranking in the top 10% of their class will receive $5,000 per year, and students ranking in the 11-25% of their class with a 3.0 GPA or higher will receive $3,000 per year. Submission of a scholarship application is not required.

“I am proud that our district is partnering with SFA and that all of our high schools have been designated as SFA Distinguished High School campuses. The opportunity this will create for our students is extraordinary,” said Dr. Eric Wright, Hays CISD superintendent of schools and three-time SFA graduate. “Our students will have access to a world-class university, and they’ll benefit from the specialized attention and assistance provided to them. As an alumnus, I can personally attest to the outstanding caliber of SFA. Go Lumberjacks!” 

Benefits also include additional financial aid assistance to students with high financial need; a special, tailored campus visit; and an assigned admissions counselor to serve students throughout the college-enrollment process.

For more information about applying to SFA, visit sfasu.edu/apply or call (936) 468-2504.