The university has made international study and internships more accessible and inclusive through the U.S. Department of State’s Gilman International Scholarship Program.
Texas Tech University has been recognized as a leader among U.S. higher education institutions in making international study and internships more accessible and inclusive for American students of all backgrounds. Through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, administered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the university has been cited for its success in increasing the number of students sent overseas, showing the greatest growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics study abroad scholars.
"We are honored to receive this recognition of Texas Tech University's efforts to create a diverse, globally minded student population," said Sukant Misra, vice provost for International Affairs. "By making study abroad opportunities more accessible to all, we ensure that our students will grow in their understanding, awareness and appreciation of all cultures and communities of the world."
Established in 2001, the Gilman Program works to increase the U.S. student population studying and interning abroad by providing scholarships to outstanding undergraduates who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise participate. More than 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent more than 28,000 Gilman scholars to nearly 150 countries around the globe.
"Participating in study abroad is one of the most effective ways to gain a better understanding and knowledge of a new place, its people and their culture," said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. "At Texas Tech, we are working diligently to provide opportunities for travel to all students, in the hopes that we can continue to grow a community of Red Raiders who are globally aware, educated and connected. This recognition from the Gilman Program proves that we are on the right path to do exactly that."
Data on the program website show more than 60 Texas Tech students have received scholarships since 2013. The number of scholars increased from 12 in 2016-17 to a record 24 in 2017-18, with Texas Tech second only to the University of Texas for the highest number of recipients among 33 Texas institutions. Of the 3,274 U.S. institutions awarded, Texas Tech tied for No. 19 with New York University for the highest number of recipients in the country.
"The Study Abroad Office works closely with the offices of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships and National & International Scholarships & Fellowships to support students through the Gilman application process," said Whitney Longnecker, study abroad director at Texas Tech. "The Gilman Scholarship is a wonderful financial incentive and program for students to realize their dream of studying abroad. It is a tremendous honor to be recognized for our efforts to practice diversity and inclusion as we build and implement education abroad programs for Red Raiders."
Senior financial aid adviser Nikki Nordell assists applicants in working with the Office of International Affairs, the National & International Scholarships & Fellowships office within the Honors College and the university's Student Financial Aid & Scholarships office to apply for the Gilman Scholarship. She said receiving recognition as a top-producing Gilman institution shows the dedication of the entire university to collaborate across departments to help students fund life-changing, study abroad experiences.
"The Gilman Scholarship causes the applicants to reflect on themselves and share their academic and professional goals along with challenges met in life to generate a strong application," Nordell said. "The program awards funding to a diverse group of students who have come back and expressed that study abroad would not have been possible for them without the Gilman award."