The Smith-Hutson Scholarship Program is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to prospective students who can demonstrate financial need and have academic and leadership potential. The program was established in 1996 by an anonymous donor. Modeled after the scholarship program supported through the Terry Foundation, the Smith-Hutson Scholarship program has grown to be the most generous and prolific scholarship program offered at Sam Houston State University.
Originally targeting students graduating from high schools in rural Texas, the program now welcomes applicants statewide. Since its establishment, hundreds of students have received a Smith-Hutson Scholarship. Forming a cohort, the graduate rate of Smith-Hutson scholars far exceeds that of the university as a whole. The program offers its scholars more than just funding. The program offers scholars wrap-around support in the form of tutoring, mentoring, and leadership development, from program leadership and the newly-formed Smith-Hutson Scholars Student Organization.
Smith-Hutson Scholarship recipients are selected by a committee which includes representatives of the Sam Houston State University and those named by the Donor. The following criteria are applied. Applicants must:
- be a resident of the state of Texas
- satisfy admission requirements of Sam Houston State University
- be an entering freshman or a transfer student from a Texas community college* and pursuing a baccalaureate degree from Sam Houston State University
- demonstrate financial need
- provide a personal essay describing career goals (maximum two pages, double-spaced)
- provide two letters of recommendation from non-family members addressing academic potential and/or financial need (it is preferable that at least one of these letters come from an English or Mathematics teacher who has taught the student during the last year)
- be unmarried with no children (does not apply to transfer students)
- be available for a personal interview tentatively scheduled during the 2nd week of May 2020 (actual dates will be posted prior to the application posting date). The interview will be held on the SHSU main campus in Huntsville, TX.
* In 2007, the Smith-Hutson Scholarship Program created a scholarship for transfer students from Texas community colleges to Sam Houston State University. These students must have completed the first two years of their undergraduate degree and plan to pursue a baccalaureate degree at SHSU. Funding for this scholarship is renewable for a second year if student maintains the requirements set forth by the scholarship program.