Taos offers double the opportunities
Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Scholarship opportunities for SMU-in-Taos have nearly doubled for the 2010 summer and fall terms.
The increase, from $50,000 to $100,000, is due to the donations from the Friends of SMU-in-Taos for scholarships. This group is mostly made up of SMU alumni and the executive board members of SMU-in-Taos.
Most of the scholarship money available applies to tuition only. The student will have to pay for room and board, about $700 to $800, as well as travel costs.
Mike Adler, the executive director of SMU-in-Taos, said one scholarship, the Richter Research Scholarship for honor students, pays $3,000 per student and may be applied to expenses in addition to tuition.
"To be perfectly honest, right now if you fill out this little blue piece of paper, we give you money," Suellen Turner, Smu-in-Taos program director, said.
Students who go during the fall can use their financial aid to pay for expenses. Although, this scholarship money cannot be used for the summer terms, Turner and Adler said SMU has recently made financial aid available over the summer – whether at Taos or the Dallas campus.
For the summer term a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required, and a 3.3 is required in the fall semester. The deadline to apply for Taos and for May term scholarships is March 2. The June and August terms are on a first come, first served rolling basis until May, while the deadline for the fall semester has not yet been posted.
Turner said there are about 50 slots still open for the summer terms and scholarship money available.
For applicants GPA, class standing, honors, extra-curricular activities and major/minor are taken into consideration.
Alder said the fall term at Taos costs the same as the SMU Dallas campus, but the summer terms are 20 percent less, in addition to the available scholarships.
The terms vary in the amount of credit hours available. Up to four credit hours are available in May, up to nine in June and a minimum of 15 in the fall semester.
The fall semester uses block scheduling. This allows for extra breaks during the semester.
"You go to class for 23 days, get out on a Wednesday and have a break Thursday through Sunday," Adler said
The SMU-in-Taos campus resembles the form of a residential college. The SMU faculty typically bring their families and live on campus along with the students.
Classes have a heavy Southwestern component and are experience-based, which means students often have the opportunity to interact with local monuments and locations.
A typical class consists of 10-12 students, which facilitates the formation of close bonds among students.
Trigg Burrage went to SMU-in-Taos during last year's June session.
He described it as a great escape from Dallas, saying that the environment is conducive to studying.
He said he thinks the additional scholarship funding will benefit students.
"I think what will prevent a lot of people from going to Taos is the extra cost," Burrage said.
"The chance to go there and have scholarship money will give that experience to so many more people."