STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Starting with the 2020-21 school year, Tarleton State University will provide annual scholarships and guaranteed admission to the top 25 percent of the Bridgeport High School graduating class.

The Bridgeport Independent School District and Tarleton leaders finalized the agreement virtually last week.

As part of the program, called the Distinguished High School Partnership, Tarleton will waive ACT (American College Test) or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) requirements for students in the top quarter of their class and application fees for students who qualify.

“This partnership aligns with our mission to be a first-choice institution for regional high school seniors,” said Tarleton President James L. Hurley. “Bridgeport graduates are destined to be leaders, and we have the responsibility to invest in their educations and well-being.”

Tarleton is developing similar agreements with other school districts in the region.

“We believe that the agreement continues a long standing relationship with Tarleton and BISD,” said Brandon Peavy, Bridgeport ISD superintendent. “This agreement offers our students the opportunity to attend a university that fits many of their academic and career goals while being involved with a culture of excellence.”

The Guaranteed Award Program (GAP) assures first-time-in-college students graduating in the top quarter of their high school class between $1,000 and $4,000 in scholarships. Students graduating from one of Tarleton’s Distinguished High School Partners, now including Bridgeport High School, will receive an additional $500 or $1,000. Admitted freshmen must submit a general scholarship application to determine eligibility.

For more information on GAP, go to To learn how to become a Tarleton Texan, visit