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UW Education Now More Accessible, Affordable for Wyoming Students

March 11, 2020
student walking near campus buildings
The University of Wyoming’s Cowboy Commitment financial pledge will benefit Wyoming students seeking college education. (UW Photo)

The cost of higher education has risen in recent years, leaving many prospective students wondering if college is right for them. The University of Wyoming has implemented new financial pledges to alleviate the stress of that decision.

UW’s mission is to provide Wyoming citizens with an education that is both affordable and accessible, and new financial aid packages help fulfill that promise. The Cowboy Commitment, approved in fall 2019 by the UW Board of Trustees, is a financial pledge that includes both merit- and need-based funding to offset education costs for in-state students and families. It will be given to incoming first-year students from Wyoming starting college in fall 2020.

It includes commitments of $6,500, $3,500, $1,500 and $500 for high school graduates in the state, based upon their academic performance. 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.

As part of the effort, trustees allocated up to $1 million for need-based aid for in-state students.

Students must confirm their enrollment at UW by Friday, May 1, to be eligible for Cowboy Commitment funding.

“It’s no secret that the costs of higher education have been rising. Now, perhaps more than ever, students and families are carefully considering the financial ramifications of a college education over the long term,” says Kyle Moore, UW’s associate vice provost for enrollment management. “A degree from UW prepares students academically and will develop their character in only the ways this flagship university can. A degree from UW is recognized as a true investment in the student’s career path -- and also an investment in this great state. These new financial pledges will open up higher education to more folks throughout Wyoming, which will benefit all who live here.”

The Cowboy Commitment is just one portion of UW’s mission to Wyoming and its citizens, and the university is committed to deliver quality education to as many in-state students as possible; limit student loan debt for Wyoming families; and maintain the cost of attending UW for students from lower-income Wyoming families.

Any Cowboy Commitment funding is in addition to dollars from the state Hathaway Scholarship Program, creating one of the nation’s most robust financial aid packages, Moore says.

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, on top of what they receive from the state Hathaway Scholarship Program. 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.

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.

The $4,000 award for Wyoming community college transfers will be capped at 125 students annually. It is an increase from the university’s previous award of $1,000 for those students.

For more information about the Cowboy Commitment, visit

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