Washburn announces new initiatives for a more affordable education

On May 4, 2023, President JuliAnn Mazachek announced two new initiatives for high school graduates from Shawnee County. The mission of the new initiatives is to give Shawnee County high school graduates an opportunity for a more affordable education.

Mazachek recognizes Washburn University as Shawnee County’s university, referring to the community as a “magical triad.”

“We appreciate our community and all that it offers our students. Shawnee County residents are Washburn students, alumni, faculty and staff. More than one-third of our alumni choose to settle here where they work and raise their families,” Mazachek said. “We are truly Shawnee County university, together we thrive. A thriving business community, a growing city and a local high quality education institution that together provide the very best environment for all of us to succeed. This is the magical triad.”

Starting in fall 2023, incoming and current students of Washburn University will benefit from these new initiatives if they are Shawnee County high school graduates. Private and home schooled students are eligible as well.

The first initiative is Washburn Shawnee County Thrives Scholarship, which will award students $1,000 once per academic year for four years. The scholarship will be awarded to students who are first-time freshmen, students transferring to Washburn and current Washburn students from Shawnee County. Shawnee County high school students and graduates can receive up to $750 for each year they are enrolled at Washburn Tech.

Students are eligible for this scholarship if their high school GPA is above 2.0, a graduate from a Shawnee County school or home school and have a valid FAFSA application on file.

Washburn Shawnee County Promise Scholarship is the second initiative. This scholarship aims to provide an opportunity for free tuition to students whose annual household income is less than $75,000 and who have less than $75,000 in assets.

This scholarship is considered a last dollar reward, meaning that qualified students will have any remainder of their tuition covered if Pell grants or other scholarships didn’t completely pay for the semester. The scholarship can pay for the cost of 30 credit hours and be renewed for up to four years or until you receive your bachelor’s degree from Washburn.

Students are eligible for this initiative if their high school GPA is above 2.0, they are a graduate from a Shawnee County school or home school and have less than $75,000 in assets and household annual income.

“To Shawnee County residents who qualify for this scholarship, if you are committed to your Washburn education, Washburn University or Washington Tech, we are committed to you and we will not let finances prevent you from earning a college degree. We promise,” Mazachek said.

Shelly Buhler, the chair of the Washburn University Board of Regents, was excited to see the looks on students’ faces after Mazachek made her announcement. Buhler feels that Mazachek’s vision for the university is strong and her leadership is ready to make some changes.

Charlize Easter, a sophomore mass media major, is one of many students who could potentially benefit from both of the announced initiatives.

“I’m excited to see what happens in the future but I think, I haven’t read the policy, but I think this means free tuition and my merit scholarship just went up $1,000,” Easter said. “I’m excited to see what this means for my future and I’m thankful for Washburn.”

Even though these scholarships did not affect all students, some hope that in the future more scholarships will be put in place for students who are not Shawnee County graduates.

If you want to know if you are a Shawnee county graduate click the link.


Edited By Simran Shrestha, Aja Carter and Christina Noland