Tarleton State University and Stephenville ISD entered into a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the distinguished high school partnership program during Monday’s school board meeting.

The memorandum states that SISD and Tarleton desire to enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding the automatic acceptance of students graduating within the top 25 percent of their respective classes from Stephenville High School.

The partnership will also waive the requirement that students submit scores from the ACT or SAT to be considered for admission and will waive the application fee for all SISD students who meet Tarleton’s criteria to receive an application fee waiver.

With this agreement, Tarleton agrees to annually offer up to 40 scholarships with a value of at least $1,000 each including: up to three with a value of at least $2,000 each; up to three with a value of at least $3,000 each; and up to two with a value of at least $5,000 each to Stephenville High School graduates who attend Tarleton and meet the applicable Tarleton distinguished high school scholarship requirements.

“Tarleton State University, thank you for your partnership and thank you for your relationship,” said SISD superintendent Matt Underwood.

"I just wanted to say thanks for the opportunity,” said TSU president Dr. James Hurley. “As [my wife] and I were considering relocating our family 1,800 miles from what we knew as home, we had other options that we were praying about, considering and thinking about. From a family perspective, it was this district that sealed the deal; it was this district that separated the decision for us in choosing this institution versus somewhere else and so I want to say kudos to this school system. It's a remarkable community to be a part of.

“This is our third state and fourth institution that we’ve served in and this is just a remarkable place. We appreciate this partnership. Our Stephenville ISD produces more students per year for Tarleton than any other school so it is our flagship; it’s our community-based school. We have wonderful partners all across Erath but Stephenville produces the most students. We wanted to double down on our investment. We wanted to show that we do value this partnership and this relationship,” Hurley said.

Hurley and Dr. Ann Calahan, president of the board of trustees, signed the Memorandum of Understanding.