Texas Tech University Waco campus Director Lewis Snell

Texas Tech University Waco campus Director Lewis Snell discusses the partnership between the university and Hill College during Thursday’s Cleburne Rotary Club weekly luncheon at the Cleburne Conference Center. They have already seen a small increase in enrollment in the program.

Paying for college is no easy feat, especially when students aren’t sure whether to start at a community college and transfer later or start at the university level in the beginning.

Texas Tech University partnered with Hill College in April 2016, and officials said they have already seen many students enter the program.

Texas Tech Waco campus Director Lewis Snell discussed the partnership and different scholarship opportunities for students who transfer from Hill to Tech after they earn their associate’s degree during Thursday’s Cleburne Rotary Club weekly luncheon.

Students attending Hill can now earn three different bachelor degrees from Texas Tech in many areas, including general studies, human sciences and applied leadership.

Snell said the idea is for the student to choose three “stackable” areas of study while attending Hill so they will be able study in multiple areas.

When he graduated from college, Snell said he hoped to obtain a job he would stay with until he retired. Nowadays, that’s not the case.

Some say by the time a millennial reaches retirement age, they will have had anywhere from seven to 12 jobs in their lifetime in different study areas, he said. Choosing a “stackable” degree will help those students.

Students can choose areas in agriculture, communication, health, math, history, sociology, nutrition and more.

Snell said they want to see what kind of jobs are needed in Cleburne and the surrounding areas, see if students are interested in those areas and push them in the right direction to earning those degrees.

Financial aid

Officials are making it easier for students to transfer from any community college to the Texas Tech campus in Lubbock by offering transfer scholarships.

A transfer student can earn the Proven Achievers Scholarship for $13,000 if they have 60 transferable hours and a 3.5 GPA.

A transfer Texas student can earn the President’s Transfer Scholarship for $9,000 if they have 30 transferable hours, a 3.0 GPA and meet the financial need as evidenced by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

A transfer student can also earn the Impact President’s Transfer Scholarship for $5,000 if they have 30 transferable hours, a 3.0 GPA and meet the financial need as evidenced by FAFSA. This scholarship is available for students entering Texas Tech in the fall semesters.

A transfer student who has earned their associate’s degree can enter into the Red Raider Guarantee. They must be a Texas resident and have a family adjusted gross income of $40,000 or less.

Future growth

The Hill College and Texas Tech partnership has only been in affect for a little over a year, but Snell said when they started they had eight students enrolled and now have 12 students. The hope to have 50 or more students by 2020.

“We see there’s a lot of growth potential here,” Snell said. “We’re going to listen to the community. We’re going to find out what jobs are needed and try to pair things up to where we’re building degrees that fit what is needed in Cleburne. We don’t just want to have degrees that don’t fit anything.”

As of right now, all the Texas Tech classes offered at Hill are online, but as they continue to grow the hope is to hire instructors for students to meet in class.

For more information about the partnership, visit www.depts.ttu.edu/hillcollege.

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