Why I Didn't Come to McCombs
From the fall 2012 issue of OPEN, the McCombs School of Business alumni magazine.
Unfortunately, for an increasing number of students, the reason is money.
In 2011, 50 percent of honors undergraduate students who declined the school’s admission offer said that Texas was their first choice, but the financial package wasn’t competitive. A quick look at McCombs’ current scholarship offerings shows why.
In an effort to turn those numbers around, McCombs has launched an ambitious campaign called the McCombs Scholars Program to fund 375 new scholarships. Once the program is fully realized, more than half of McCombs’ top students will receive scholarships covering full tuition and fees.
“You’re only as good as the quality of your students and professors,” says John Adams, BBA ’66, the McCombs Scholars Program chair. “Dean Gilligan has assembled outstanding faculty, and now this will help us bring in the best students, not only based on academic success, but their community service and leadership. People did this for my generation, and now I’m trying to give back to a university that has given so much to me.”
Adams takes that responsibility personally, and hopes to also serve as a mentor to the three scholarship recipients he is supporting.
Here’s a look at how McCombs compares to other schools and the progress of the scholarship program so far.
Reaching an Overlooked Population
Dallas, Houston and Austin send plenty of elite students to McCombs, but West Texans make up only 1 percent of the school’s honors students. With a $1 million pledge — and a challenge to alumni to double it by 2017 — El Paso native and business leader Woody Hunt, BBA ’66, MBA ’70, hopes to change that. $250,000 of the pledge will fund a scholarship aimed at bringing the area’s top students to McCombs, while the remainder will go toward bolstering the Business Honors Program. For Hunt, a BHP grad himself, it was a chance to create a scholarship specifically for a region he feels passionately about.
“The El Paso/Del Norte region—which includes southern New Mexico and northern Mexico, as well as El Paso—has a population of about 2.5 million people. In terms of income and higher education attainment, we’re not as competitive as we should be. We’re a significant exporter of our educated talent,” Hunt says. “My hope here is to try to improve the competitiveness of our region by creating an opportunity to access a very high-quality program.”