Conference Funds Provide True Cougar Experience to Deserving Students - University of Houston
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DSA News
November 14, 2023

The Cougar Experience Scholarship aims to bolster student success at the University of Houston (UH) by awarding selected students financial support for on-campus housing. During the 2022-2023 academic year, Student Housing & Residential Life’s (SHRL) Conference Services & Guest Housing unit contributed more than $26,000 to the Cougar Experience Scholarship fund.

Since its inception in 2014, the Cougar Experience Scholarship has provided $4,000 ($2,000 per semester) in funding to first-year students who demonstrate financial need and submit a short essay as part of their scholarship application. Awarded students enrich their first-year experience by living in the Cougar Experience Scholars suites at Cougar Village II and are encouraged to actively participate in campus activities. Financial contributions from supporting partners, like SHRL, are critical to the academic and social success of students who benefit from the fund. Data reveals students residing in residence halls are more successful than their commuting counterparts in persistence and retention. Don Yackley, assistant vice president for student affairs, student housing and residential life said, “We are so pleased that the Student Housing & Residential Life Conference and Guest Housing programs have been able to support the Cougar Experience Scholarship benefiting students with financial need and helping to provide a great experience, the work they do makes a difference.”

“This year we netted more than $800,000 in revenue from summer conference and guest housing,” said Mackenzie Wysong-Bentley, associate director of housing operations. “I am so proud of the work of our team. The fact that a small portion of our funds can provide a once—in—a—lifetime experience to a handful of deserving first-year students is truly incredible to witness.”

Approximately 3 percent of the revenue generated from Conference Services & Guest Housing is given in support of the Cougar Experience Scholarship, with contributions surpassing $100,000 since 2018.

Written by Jaelyn Lyles, Communications Manager, Marketing and Communications

To learn more about the Cougar Experience Scholarship, visit the Division of Student Affairs website. For more information about Conference Services & Guest Housing at UH, click here.