SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College announced today (Monday, October 12, 2015) that it will commit $300,000 in scholarships for 15 first-generation college students from South Carolina to attend Wofford. Five of those scholarships will be set aside for students coming from Spartanburg County.

“Every year a number of outstanding first-generation students enroll at Wofford. We want to continue that tradition and make attending Wofford more affordable,” Brand Stille, vice president for enrollment, says. “To do this, we announce the addition of 15 merit scholarships, valued at $20,000 per year, to be awarded to South Carolina students who represent the first generation in their families to attend college. These scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis using admission applications.”

According to Wofford President Nayef Samhat, nearly 15 percent of Wofford students are the first in their families to attend college. “Wofford College is committed to providing transformative educational experiences that are both accessible and affordable. First-generation college students go back and change their family trees. They make their communities better places in which to live and raise families. This new scholarship program for first-generation students is intended to keep these outstanding students in our community for their college years and beyond. This scholarship is just one way that Wofford College is demonstrating its commitment to lifting our state and nation by educating the citizen-leaders of tomorrow."

Last year, the New York Times recognized Wofford as one of the most economically diverse colleges in the country and recently named Wofford among the “Top Colleges Doing the Most for Low-Income Students.” First-generation students at Wofford are similar academically to other students at the college, Stille says, but they are more likely to be under-represented minority students.

“This initiative continues to build on our strength in economic diversity and may enhance other types of diversity, too,” says Stille. “We want first-generation students to know that financial aid is available at Wofford and that meeting the cost of a private, liberal arts college may be possible for them.”

A significant number of first-generation students at Wofford come from Spartanburg County, Stille says, explaining why a third of the merit scholarships have been set aside for students from Spartanburg. “This is our community, and we want to encourage and help students from our surrounding area to attend Wofford.”