Embracing University of Houston President Renu Khator’s commitment to student success, State Sen. John Whitmire has made the first donation to a new Cougar Experience Scholarship, a $4,000 award for freshmen students who choose to live on campus.
“The success of the University of Houston and its students are critically important to our region,” said Whitmire, a UH alumnus. “This scholarship fund will help Dr. Khator reach the goal of encouraging more students to live on campus, which will contribute to the success of those students during an important time in their academic careers. I am proud to support that effort by kicking off the scholarship campaign with its first gift.”
Higher education research, as well as institutional data from UH, shows that students who live on campus are more successful in persistence and retention, have slightly higher GPAs, take more credit hours, are less likely to withdraw and are more likely to finish a degree in four years than their commuting peers.
“I want to thank Sen. Whitmire for his generous contribution to the Cougar Experience Scholarship. We will continue to encourage our students— especially our freshmen— to live on campus because we know it improves their outcomes,” Khator said. “The success of our students is our top priority, and we continue to look at news ways to ensure that more freshman are connected to the University and all of the campus resources available to them.”
Students who are attending college for the first time after high school, apply for residence in one of the designated freshmen residence halls— Cougar Village, Cougar Village II or Moody Towers— and are involved in two of the organizations or and activities outlined in the application criteria will be eligible for the scholarship. The school-related activities include on-campus student organizations, service organizations (on or off campus), on-campus student employment, and participation in undergraduate research or student support programs.
Fundraising to support the Cougar Experience Scholarship is underway. Students will begin applying for the scholarship this spring to support on-campus living in fall 2015. To support the new scholarship through a gift, or for more information, please contact Edward Davis II, director of Advancement for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, at 713-743-5390 or via email at Edavis9@central.uh.edu
UH has the second-largest residential campus in Texas. More than 7,000 students are living on campus this fall, which is 95 percent of its capacity. UH does not require freshmen to live on campus and a proposal to require such was tabled by the administration in August.