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WKU Announces Tuition Guarantee for Low-Income Freshmen

Lisa Autry

Western Kentucky University is taking another step toward increasing access and affordability for low-income students. 

President Timothy Caboni announced a new initiative on Thursday called the Hilltopper Guarantee. Starting next fall, WKU will be tuition-free to any first-year students from Kentucky who receive Pell Grants and have at least a 3.0 high school GPA.  

“This is a tremendous promise to the young people of this state, that we can guarantee if you’re from a low-income family but you’re a high achiever, a four-year degree from WKU is in your future," Caboni said.

The scholarship amount will be determined by in-state tuition minus other forms of financial assistance, such as lottery scholarships. 

The tuition guarantee is renewable for four years as long as the student meets academic requirements. 

The move means WKU is the largest institution in Kentucky to issue a statewide tuition promise.

The Hilltopper Guarantee builds on $5 million in new scholarship aid announced last year by WKU, which helped recruit the largest freshman class in nearly two decades.  The percentage of freshmen receiving scholarship assistance jumped from 39 percent to 84 percent this fall.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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