Between packed schedules, group projects, homework and internships, high-achieving college students stay busy throughout their college career.

Throwing a part-time job into the mix — often a necessity for affording tuition and other expenses — can leave many students weighing the need to make money against the need to perform well in school and can result in students slipping academically.

The Trustees’ Scholars Award — University of Wyoming’s top scholarship — aims to alleviate some of that stress by covering the tuition, fees and room and board costs not covered by the Hathaway Scholarship for qualifying Wyoming high school and home-schooled students planning to attend UW.

Sydney Pomajzl, who is set to graduate from Cody High School this spring, was one of the 104 recipients announced in December.

“It definitely relieved some stress about financials,” Pomajzl said.

“I feel like I can now focus more on my education at UW instead of worrying about paying for college.”

The competitive scholarship is awarded to a limited number of students, so the specific qualifying criteria change annually, but include having a high GPA, ACT or SAT score and curriculum rigor.

The average GPA of this year’s scholars is 3.98, while the average ACT score is 33, according to a UW news release.

“These are the best of the best among Wyoming high school students — students who would excel at any university in the country — and we are delighted to have them attend the state’s world-class university,” Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Kyle Moore says in the release.

Emily Armitage, a biology major in her senior year, said winning the Trustees’ Scholars Award as an incoming freshman contributed immensely to her success in college.

“The trustees’ scholarship has allowed me to focus on my studies without working a full time job to pay my bills — giving me time to do homework, join clubs and do unpaid internships that gave me valuable experience,” Armitage said.

“I will graduate with absolutely no debt which gives me peace of mind as I enter the next phase of my education, and does the same for other students as they enter the workforce, after graduation.”

Though still an undergraduate, Armitage is conducting research alongside Associate Professor of Molecular Biology Naomi Ward. Armitage is able to take part in this research thanks to the Science Initiative’s Wyoming Research Scholars Program — a program that aims to engage undergraduates in research opportunities while connecting students to researchers in their chosen fields.

Having the trustees’ scholarship has allowed Armitage to focus on this research and begin planning for graduate school, she said.

“It takes a huge load off of families who would otherwise be paying for their child’s tuition and rent,” Armitage said. “I don’t think I would have been as academically successful without it.”

The Trustees’ Scholars Award is renewable for up to eight semesters. To retain the scholarship for a full four years, recipients must maintain continuous full time enrollment during the fall and spring semesters and keep a 3.25 cumulative GPA.

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