By Rolando Rodriguez Soto, Reporter
Three new Baylor students were awarded full tuition transfer scholarships this fall after earning perfect grades at McLennan Community College.
The MAC College Money Program, an organization of the Waco Foundation, awards three full tuition scholarships every year to three high achieving McLennan County students. Baylor University furnishes the scholarship.
The MAC Program’s goal is to provide all McLennan County high school graduates with the opportunity to pursue a higher education. The competitive transfer scholarship allows students the possibility to attend a prestigious, private university despite financial or social backgrounds.
“Many of our MAC students would prefer to complete their education here in Waco so they can live at home because of family situations and finances,” said Robbie Stabeno, director of scholarships for the MAC Program. “This gives them the opportunity to attend a school like Baylor and be able to live at home when they would not have normally been able to afford the cost of education.”
The three recipients each said while their first week at Baylor has been overwhelming, they are excited for the future of their educational career.
“I can focus more on academics and being involved on campus,” said Waco junior Dylan Kirby. “I enjoy and look forward to all the different things that Baylor has to offer that other colleges don’t offer.”
“The scholarship has taken a huge load off of my family because they don’t have to pay for the tuition,” said Waco sophomore Richard Fuentes. “It helps me relax in the classroom knowing that I don’t have a big bill at the end of the year.”
For Waco sophomore Miguel Diaz-Romo, this scholarship was his goal since graduating from high school.
“Being able to come to Baylor wouldn’t be near a possibility without this scholarship, so it’s been everything for me,” Diaz said.
As MAC scholars, Kirby, Fuentes and Diaz can advance in their careers with a college degree.
“I don’t want to be a minimum wage worker,” said Fuentes. “A college degree will really help me in the future.”
The MAC Program has been awarding the transfer scholarship to high achieving students from McLennan County since 1999, but they also offer the MAC Grant for incoming college freshmen. The grant is awarded to students from low-income families.
Aside from funding students’ education, MAC also helps new and continuing students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at no cost to the student.
Through their continued collaboration with Baylor, the MAC Program has been making an impact on Waco since 1995.
“The MAC Program and the Waco Foundation really appreciates the partnership with Baylor that we’ve had all these years,” Stabeno said. “All of our students that have gone to Baylor have been very successful, so we are happy they are still continuing with the program.”