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Demystifying the Cowboy Commitment

Three students on horses in front of the College of Agriculture
Cowboy Commitment is a financial pledge that includes both merit- and need-based funding to offset education costs for Wyoming students and families.

You’ve heard of the Cowboy Commitment at the University of Wyoming. But you have questions.

First of all, what the heck is it? How does it apply to me? Is it an academic program, or some crazy new outdoor adventure?

Here’s what you need to know.

What is it?

Implemented in fall 2019, the Cowboy Commitment is a financial pledge that includes both merit- and need-based funding to offset education costs for Wyoming students and families. 

Merit-based funding is offered to students who show academic proficiency in areas such as GPA and ACT/SAT scores. 

Need-based funding is for students with demonstrated financial need, because they and their family need assistance to cover the costs for school. 

Who is it for?

It’s pretty simple, really: It’s money for Wyoming students. That means incoming first-year students from the state who are starting college in fall 2020, or transfer students from Wyoming community colleges who have 75 or fewer academic credits and a grade-point average of at least 3.0.

Students jumping in front of bucking horse statue

Why was it put in place?

Because we don’t just say we want to educate Wyoming students. We mean it. This kind of financial commitment is meaningful and could make a difference for a student who is unsure of how they and their family will afford college. UW has a responsibility to citizens of the state to ensure that a college education is as affordable and accessible as possible.


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What are the important details?

It includes annual commitments of $6,500, $3,500, $1,500 and $500 for new Wyoming high school graduates. There also is a $4,000 award for transfer students from Wyoming community colleges who have 75 or fewer academic credits and a grade-point average of at least 3.0.

The $4,000 award for Wyoming community college transfers will be capped at 125 annually.

Wyoming flag on campus

How do I stack up?

Remember, this is additional money that you’ll receive on top of what you’re getting from the state Hathaway Scholarship program.

For the highest-achieving in-state students -- those with an ACT score of more than 32 and a high school grade-point average of at least 3.96 -- the university will provide an award of $6,500. Wyoming students with an ACT score of more than 28 and a high school grade-point average of 3.88 will receive a $3,500 award. Those with an ACT score of about 25 and a GPA of 3.69 will receive $1,500, and those with an ACT score of about 22 and a GPA of 3.26 will receive $500.

There is an additional $1 million for need-based aid for in-state students. Additionally, the $1 million in need-based aid will significantly close the gap for students whose families can’t afford the post-Hathaway cost to attend UW -- helping cover up to 81 percent of the cost of attending the university.

Check out the funding matrix to learn more, but don’t forget, students must confirm their enrollment at UW by May 1 to be eligible for Cowboy Commitment funding.

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