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Abilene High, Cooper merit scholars receive full tuition scholarships from ACU

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 11:22:21 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 22 2013 12:06:14 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene Christian University’s Honors College awarded two Abilene High and two Cooper High School students with full tuition scholarships, marking the third year the honors college has given them out.

The scholarship is worth more than $100,000. Abilene High band students Laura Churchill and Jackson Puybus said the financial gifts were more than welcome.

"You feel extra special," Churchill said. "I wasn't expecting that big of a deal. They came and personally handed it to me and Jackson in front of everyone in band and kind of embarrassed us a little bit."

"It's good to know that working hard in academics pays off just as much as anything else," Pybus said.

Just an hour later ACU made a similar announcement across town at Cooper High School greeting two more seniors, seniors Wyatt Thompson and Denver Gravitt. 

"We go through class all day and teachers still complain about having to pay for college – and it's amazing just to have this opportunity to not have to do that," Thompson said.

"If scholarships didn't happen, then I would just have to take out college loans," Gravitt said.

"It's always fun to present the award to explain to them how big the award is and see their eyes sort of light up, because it does create opportunities and possibilities for them." ACU Honors College Dean Stephen Johnson said.

Thompson said he already has plans for what he will do if he takes the award.

"Everything I can," Thompson said. "Change the world."

Tuition is roughly $28,000 per year, which covers 36 credit hours. The overall cost of an ACU education is roughly $36,000 per year including room and board. ACU will award dozens more students full tuition scholarships at 10 more high schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.