Georgia Tech’s “Georgia Scholars Program” Announced at Gilmer High

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Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson, Gilmer Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes, Speaker of the House David Ralston, Gilmer High School Principal Carla Foley, and Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Georgia Tech Rick Clark celebrate the announcement of Georgia Tech's "Georgia Scholars Program" at Gilmer High School Thursday, August 17, 2017.

ELLIJAY, GA – Pictured above Left to Right, Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, Gilmer Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes, Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston, Gilmer High School Principal Carla Foley, and Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Georgia Tech Rick Clark celebrated the announcement of Georgia Tech’s “Georgia Scholars Program” at Gilmer High School Thursday, August 17, 2017.

Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson announces the Georgia Scholars Program at Gilmer High School.

Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson announces the Georgia Scholars Program at Gilmer High School.

The Scholars Program automatically accepts Valedictorians and Salutatorians in Georgia high schools into Georgia Tech. According to Peterson, “This Georgia Tech Scholars Program is the outgrowth of our commitment to improve college access for students from throughout the state, and supports our goal of putting a Georgia Tech degree within reach of every qualified student.”

This new program goes into effect with this year’s graduating class. This means current seniors are eligible for this program.

Scholars will be accepted into the program when they are named either valedictorian or salutatorian of their high school, submit an application, and have successfully completed the prerequisite courses for entrance.

Speaker of the House David Ralston attending the Georgia Teach "Georgia Scholars Program" announcement.

Speaker of the House David Ralston attending the Georgia Teach “Georgia Scholars Program” announcement.

Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston called it “truly a great day for young people in Georgia.” Ralston praised the program as an encouragement of excellence in the classroom. He went on to note the importance of workforce development in Georgia’s public policy discussions and its future.

“Programs like this will help recognize, reward, and retain our best and brightest scholars. That is a critical part of ensuring Georgia’s economic growth and success for generations to come,” said Ralston.

Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admission, spoke with FYN about the program. Clark said the Institute has close to 15,000 undergraduates attending the college with around 2,850 in the freshman class this year. The program aims to extend the already established APS Scholars for Atlanta Public school further out to the entire state. Traveling to Gilmer County to announce the program was another embodiment of that desire to spread the program statewide.

President "Bud" Peterson speaks with students about their future majors and possibilities at Georgia Tech.

President “Bud” Peterson speaks with students about their future majors and possibilities at Georgia Tech.

While announcing the Scholars Program, Clark also expanded Georgia Tech’s invitation to all students saying that they wanted them to apply. Don’t let the prices and money you see keep you from applying. Financial Aid and other programs are making colleges far more achievable than they first appear. Georgia Tech is wanting to let students all across the state know that they are a viable option and students should not see them as unattainable.

Gilmer County Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes commented on the announcement saying, “We’re honored that they are here in Gilmer County, that they chose our high school to make that announcement. We are very proud of our students who will be attending there.”

Dr. Wilkes agreed that having two of the last year’s top three students attending Georgia Tech this fall and the announcement of the Georgia Scholars Program at Gilmer, Georgia Tech has become a more accessible reality for the many students who work towards that goal.

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