A Letter to Louie

If you know me, you know I’ve had a terrible time working out my financial aid since transferring to University of Texas at Tyler. To preface, I graduated high school with 30+ hours of college credits which granted me the Early Graduation Scholarship of $1,000. I was only able to receive this scholarship, however, if I attended a college in Texas. No problem! I went to Kilgore College for two years and graduated in May of 2011. (I also had a ridiculous time with scholarships at KC, but that’s another story for another day.)

Last fall, I started at UT Tyler. Trying to find this scholarship I learned that the funding had been cut. The rest is explained in my letter to Louie Gohmert below. Please read it and stand up for our schools by emailing our leaders.


I am a junior vocal music education major at the University of Texas at Tyler. I graduated Sabine High School in May of 2009 with 30+ college credit hours. Because of these hours, I received the Early Graduation Scholarship from the state of Texas. This was our incentive to graduate high school with so many hours. If the recipients of this scholarship attended any college in the state of Texas we would receive our $1,000 scholarship. So in the fall of 2009 I attended Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas but decided to wait until I went on to a university to pull on this scholarship because I had enough scholarships at Kilgore College. In the fall of 2011 I started school full-time at the University of Texas at Tyler. Attempting to locate the whereabouts of the Early Graduation Scholarship, I learned that there was no funding from the state of Texas for this scholarship anymore. Then, in October a letter was mailed to all those eligible for this scholarship, myself included, that funds were now available from the state of Texas and that quick action must be taken before December 20, 2011 to receive this funding. Mid November I faxed over a copy of my letter to UTT to get what was long due me. After weeks of waiting, I still got no response. I emailed and called countless times only to hear time after time, “We’ll let you know in a couple of weeks.” February 15, 2012 I emailed UTT’s enrollment office as a last attempt for resolution. February 16 I received an email stating that all of the funding has run out once again and that UTT disbursed all of this money to those eligible already. I would not be receiving this scholarship. Frustrated and out of patience, I responded asking when I would be finally receiving this scholarship. I am a newlywed with one income. This scholarship is desperately needed. However, what frustrates me the most is UTT’s inability to give a faithful full-time student the time of day.

I understand the state of Texas’ need for budget cuts. However, I don’t think those in office realize that students like myself are being reprimanded for crimes we did not commit. I beseech you, Mr. Gohmert, to take swift action in standing up for the students in the state of Texas. We are the future leaders, but we cannot lead when our schooling cannot be fully funded.

Thank you,
Melody Rich

Hope you guys are having a great Monday. 🙂