Atlanta Public Schools
3:42 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Top APS Students to Get Full Tuition Scholarship to Georgia Tech

Atlanta Public School students who graduate at the top of their classes can now go to one of the nation’s top institutions of higher learning.  For free.

APS superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen stands with Georgia Tech president Dr. Bud Peterson at Booker T. Washington High School Thursday. The pair just announced a program that will give top APS students full scholarships to Ga Tech.
APS superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen stands with Georgia Tech president Dr. Bud Peterson at Booker T. Washington High School Thursday. The pair just announced a program that will give top APS students full scholarships to Ga Tech.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

The deal is the result of a program announced Thursday called APS Scholars@Georgia Tech. 

The idea’s simple: Graduate as valedictorian or salutatorian of your high school class, and you get comp’d four years of tuition as a Yellow Jacket.

Speaking Thursday at Booker T. Washington High School in southwest Atlanta, Superintendent Meria Carstarphen praised the partnership for opening new doors.

“No matter what your household income, or anything about it, you can receive a world-class, top-notch, first-rate, awesome college education by being part of this scholars program with Georgia Tech.”

Outside Washington High School’s assembly hall, junior Usiel Hernandez poses for a “selfie” with Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson and Superintendent Carstarphen. He says before today, Tech hadn’t been on his radar. It is now.

Usiel Hernandez
Booker T. Washington High School junior Usiel Hernandez says he hadn't considered going to Ga Tech until Thursday, when he learned it's possible for him to attend the institution for free.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

“It’s a really big deal, especially if you go to Georgia Tech. It’s a very prestigious institution, so the tuition is going to be really high.  So with the scholarships, it’s good.”  

Although there are other scholarship programs for students across the state, this partnership is only for APS students.  At least for now.

“We’ll start with this, and see how it works,” says Tech President Bud Peterson. ”And if it works well, we can entertain the opportunity of trying to expand it.”

The program starts with class of 2015 graduates.  The scholarships are worth about $36,000 over the course of four years.