News Archives: Admissions

HPU sees increased numbers for fall 2016 enrollment

Kevin Kirk Selfie with Students at Chime in 2016.1BROWNWOOD – September 20, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s fall 2016 semester is underway with lots of new faces around campus. The number of first-year students – 321 – at the Brownwood campus is HPU’s second-largest class in 16 years.

Undergraduate and graduate enrollment at HPU’s three locations – the main campus in Brownwood and extension centers in New Braunfels and El Paso – totals 1,189 students, an increase from fall 2015. The figure includes 408 first-year students and transfer students.

“We are very blessed to have this amazing group of students join the HPU community this fall,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “They are truly a class full of leaders who have brought a strong spirit of service and energy to the campus.”

More information about Howard Payne University is available online at


Photo cutline: Members of HPU’s incoming class of students pose for a “selfie” photo with Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management, at a new-student event before the start of the semester. Kirk leads the group in the “Sting ‘em” cheer familiar to HPU Yellow Jackets.

HPU’s Freeland enjoying college life thanks to Heart of Texas Scholarship

Christopher FreelandBROWNWOOD – June 2, 2016 – Christopher Freeland, 2015 graduate of Bangs High School, is very happy with his decision to attend Howard Payne University even though many students are hesitant to enroll in a college near their hometowns.

“Given the time, Howard Payne can be a home away from home, just not far away,” he said. “Given the chance, it can be an opportunity for exponential growth, quality experiences and treasured connections.”

Freeland, a student in HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, majors in chemistry with a biochemistry concentration. He is thankful for HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship which awards $60,000 to eligible students from Brown County and surrounding counties. The scholarship makes a private Christian education near his hometown an affordable reality.

“I wanted to go to Howard Payne and the Heart of Texas Scholarship offered major financial relief,” he said.

According to Freeland, many students from the area dismiss the idea of attending HPU simply because it is close to home.

“But Howard Payne is like a different world,” he said. “When you walk across campus, it’s a community in itself. It’s healthy to go out and gain independence. But you can do that at Howard Payne.”

Freeland enjoys his time at HPU. He is a member of the Student Speaker Bureau, HPU’s speech and debate team. He is also active in the theatre department and writes for the Yellow Jacket student newspaper. However, he does have one regret from his freshman year.

“Living off campus was not the best idea,” he said. “It’s easy to feel disconnected and isolated when you have the option to go home after class. Even trying to integrate into campus life is difficult when you are not a resident. I have been impressed with the ability of students to involve everyone, even those who do live off-campus.”

Freeland plans to move into an on-campus residence hall his sophomore year.

“I believe that Howard Payne is an excellent community that nurtures Christian faith and provides a challenging academic standard,” he said. “I look forward to moving on campus and experiencing fully all of Howard Payne’s opportunities.”

There is still time to apply for HPU’s fall 2016 semester. The Heart of Texas Scholarship, paid over four years, is automatically awarded to students from the Heart of Texas area who meet unconditional admission requirements and enroll full-time in the fall and spring semesters. Qualifying students will have graduated from high schools or homeschools in Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba counties. For more information about this scholarship and other opportunities awaiting students at HPU, contact the Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or More information may also be found online at


Cutline: Christopher Freeland, HPU sophomore and participant in organizations such as HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau, received the university’s Heart of Texas Scholarship. The scholarship awards $60,000 to eligible students from Brown and surrounding counties.

HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship awards $60,000 to local and area students

HPU aerial photoBROWNWOOD – April 22, 2016 – Demonstrating its commitment to local and area students, Howard Payne University offers the Heart of Texas Scholarship which awards $60,000 to eligible students from Brown County and surrounding counties.

The scholarship, paid over four years, is automatically awarded to students who are graduates of high schools in the Heart of Texas area, meet unconditional admission requirements and enroll full-time in the fall and spring semesters. Qualifying students will have graduated from high schools or homeschools in Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba counties.

“We want everyone to be aware of this wonderful opportunity for local and area students,” said P.J. Gramling, HPU’s director of admission. “HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship makes it possible for students to receive a great education from an affordable, private Christian university.”

In addition to the Heart of Texas Scholarship, HPU offers a wide variety of financial aid options. The university is nationally recognized for its affordability and is consistently named one of the Best Regional Colleges of the West by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges.”

There is still time to apply for HPU’s fall 2016 semester. For more information about the Heart of Texas Scholarship and other opportunities awaiting students at HPU, contact the Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or More information may also be found online at


Photo cutline: Howard Payne University’s Heart of Texas Scholarship awards $60,000 over four years to eligible students from Brown County and surrounding counties. Photo by Scott Coers/Down Home Digital.

HPU enters fall 2015 semester with increased enrollment

Jacket Journey group photo 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – September 16, 2015 – Faculty, staff and students at Howard Payne University entered the fall 2015 semester recently with increased enrollment and excitement over the months to come. Total undergraduate and graduate enrollment at HPU’s three locations is 1,163 students, a 2.2 percent increase over fall 2014. The figure includes 382 incoming freshmen and transfer students.

“We have certainly been blessed with an amazing group of students this year,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment. “It is really great to see them already connecting to the campus community.”

Dr. Trissa Cox, professor of computer information systems, said summer is a great time of renewal but students are the lifeblood of campus.

“Howard Payne’s campus was never meant to be quiet,” she said. “I’m excited to see students back at HPU and around Brownwood.”

Dr. W. Mark Tew, HPU provost and chief academic officer, said the entire campus community plays a large role in the recruiting efforts.

“In addition to the excellent work of our admission staff, the university is particularly indebted to the personnel in the offices of business affairs, financial aid and the registrar for countless hours of behind-the-scenes efforts to bring in this class,” he said. “I am deeply appreciative of the university’s faculty who are invaluable to the process of recruitment and retention by providing exemplary education and loving Christian support to all our students.”

Nathan Lacy, freshman from Brownwood, said he already feels like a member of the HPU “family.”

“I’m looking forward to future semesters and the many wonderful things I am about to learn,” he said.

Like many other students from the area, Lacy benefits from HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship which awards substantial financial assistance to students from Brown County and other nearby counties.

Lacy said he chose HPU not just for the quality education but because he feels it is the best place for him to grow and prosper as an individual.

“I am extremely happy that I received the Heart of Texas Scholarship,” he said. “It was a tremendous help.”

HPU is always excited to welcome new members to the family. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming an HPU Yellow Jacket, visit, e-mail or call (325) 649-8020.


Photo cutline: New freshmen are pictured with upperclassmen leaders during HPU’s Jacket Journey new-student orientation.

HPU advances in U.S. News & World Report rankings

BROWNWOOD – September 9, 2015 – Howard Payne University advanced in two categories in the 2016 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report released Wednesday. HPU jumped two places from 2015 to be ranked second among the regional colleges of the west in the “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. Additionally, the university placed 11th out of the ranked institutions in the “Best Regional Colleges of the West” category (up four places from 2015) and eighth among the regional colleges of the west in the “Best Colleges for Veterans” category.

Institutions are ranked in all categories within four geographic regions: North, South, Midwest and West. Universities and colleges in Texas and Oklahoma compete in the West region, which is the largest geographic section, encompassing the entire Western U.S.

According to the publication, U.S. News determines its “Great Schools, Great Prices” category by taking into account an institution’s academic quality based on its “Best Colleges” ranking and the 2014-2015 net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

“The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal,” the publication stated.

U.S. News determines the “Best Colleges for Veterans” by examining institutions in the 2016 “Best Colleges” rankings which participate in federal initiatives that make pursuing a college degree more affordable for veterans and active service members.

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, said he is proud of the work faculty and staff perform to serve the university’s students.

“We’re honored that the ‘Best Colleges’ publication has once again chosen to recognize HPU for the value, academic rigor and educational benefits we provide our students,” he said.

Prospective students and their families may schedule a campus visit at or by calling (325) 649-8020.


Photo cutline: HPU advanced in two categories in the 2016 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report. Pictured is the university’s distinctive Old Main Tower.

HPU hosts BGCT’s Super Summer camp for Texas youth

super summer 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – July 21, 2015 – Howard Payne University recently hosted the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Super Summer camp, a weeklong event designed to foster leadership skills in young Christians. In addition to hundreds of Texas youth, approximately 65 HPU alumni, students, faculty and staff members participated in the camp.

Youth ministers from churches across the state – 18 of them HPU alumni or graduate students – brought students to the camp. Additional Super Summer camps are hosted by other Texas Baptist universities throughout the summer.

At least nine of the young people who attended HPU’s Super Summer will start classes at the university in the fall.

Camp youth are divided into schools, designated by colors, based on their ages. This year, HPU was one of only two universities to also include a Purple School, which provides preparation for students who feel called to vocational Christian ministry. Dr. Rusty Wheelington, associate professor of Christian studies at HPU, served as dean of the Purple School.

“Spending a week with some of the best youth ministers and students across the state is always encouraging and a blessing,” said Dr. Wheelington. “This year we even had one student from Haiti. Super Summer is a week of intense teaching and training to help students become more effective leaders, disciples and sharers of the Gospel in their schools, communities and homes.”

According to Dr. Gary Gramling ’81, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s Christian studies graduate programs, other students also recognized God calling them to ministry throughout the week.

“I met two students who were not a part of Purple School who sensed during the week that God is calling them to vocational Christian ministry,” he said. “What a privilege for HPU to host such a week where God is at work in the hearts of so many students. I can’t imagine anything that would bring greater joy to the hearts of those who founded our university than to know the campus is being used for such events.”

Chuck Gartman ’72, adjunct instructor in HPU’s School of Christian Studies and minister of education/leadership development at Field Street Baptist Church in Cleburne, served as dean of Super Summer’s Leadership Forum at HPU.

“Howard Payne’s Leadership Forum at Super Summer continues to be a breath of fresh air for me personally as I facilitate this process,” he said. “Leaders have the opportunity to hear from some of our state’s best youth leaders and are also able to express concerns or sources of praise in their own settings. I’m privileged to be a part of this great opportunity for youth leaders around our state.”

Natalie Stary ’03, HPU admission counselor, coordinated HPU’s camp this year.

“Super Summer has had a huge impact on Baptist students for more than 40 years,” she said. “Super Summer at HPU will always be special to me because I attended as a student 19 years ago.”

It was during that time, Stary said, she felt called to ministry and to become a student at HPU.

“I feel very honored to get to now serve in a leadership role with the planning and implementation of Super Summer at Howard Payne,” she said. “The Lord continues to use Super Summer and HPU to train up future generations of Texas Baptists for His service locally and around the world.”


Photo cutline: Super Summer campers gather near HPU’s Old Main Tower.

Apply now for fall 2015 semester at HPU

BROWNWOOD – July 16, 2015 – Summer is passing quickly, but there is still time to apply for the fall 2015 semester at Howard Payne University. Visit us online at to complete a free application or to learn more about our academic offerings and student life.

Those living in Brown County or surrounding counties may be eligible for HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $56,000 over four years to eligible applicants. Numerous additional scholarships are also available. Contact HPU’s Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or for more information.

HPU student studying in Mabee Center for webHPU offers more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs in six schools: business, Christian studies, education, humanities, music and fine arts, and science and mathematics. Additionally, the university offers five master’s degree programs: the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry, Master of Arts in Youth Ministry, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education in Instructional Leadership and Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership.

HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy challenges students with a multidisciplinary curriculum and exciting travel opportunities. Co-curricular organizations include the Model United Nations, Moot Court and Student Speaker Bureau, and 30 student organizations round out the school’s extracurricular options.

Student athletes at HPU compete in six men’s and six women’s sports through the American Southwest Conference and others who enjoy athletics take part in well-attended intramural sporting competitions.

“Campus visits are a great way to learn more about the university and see if HPU is the right fit for you,” said Kevin Kirk, associate vice president for enrollment management. “It’s a great time to be a Yellow Jacket and we’re always excited to add more to our swarm.”

For more information about HPU, visit or contact the Office of Admission via any of the methods listed above.


Photo cutline: HPU offers students a high-quality educational experience in a friendly campus environment.

TexasBank awards $25,000 in scholarship funds to HPU through Doss Foundation

dodds and ellis 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – June 10, 2015 – TexasBank recently presented $25,000 to Howard Payne University through the Doss Foundation. The donation was part of $88,000 in scholarship funds that will be given to local and area high schools and colleges in 2015.

Within the past seven years, the Doss Foundation has given more than $500,000 to area educational institutions.

“TexasBank is proud to be affiliated with the Doss Foundation, whose gift will give back to local students through HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship Fund,” said Greg Dodds, president and CEO of TexasBank. “We believe that the Heart of Texas Scholarship has provided an opportunity for a quality university degree for an ever increasing number of local students. The scholarship provides these students with a $14,000 annual award and greatly helps to ease any financial burdens after college. The Board and Ownership of TexasBank value our relationship with Howard Payne University, and we are honored to support this institution and its students.”

Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president, also voiced his appreciation to the Doss Foundation and TexasBank.

“The university is very grateful to have TexasBank as a partner in providing the highest quality education to our students,” he said. “HPU is blessed to be a part of Brownwood and to have the support of so many friends in the community like TexasBank.”


Photo cutline: Greg Dodds, left, president and CEO of TexasBank, presents a $25,000 check to Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president.

HPU’s Natividad joins board of BGCT’s Hispanic Education Initiative

David Natividad for webBROWNWOOD – January 16, 2015 – David Natividad, a Howard Payne University admission counselor, recently began a term with the Board of Directors for the Hispanic Education Initiative (HEI) within the Christian Life Commission of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The goal of the HEI is to prepare pre-kindergarten children for school and help students succeed through graduation and into college.

“The HEI works with young children and families to prepare them for school and it works with high school students who want to continue their education,” said Natividad, whose desire is to work with middle school and high school students. “We give information about colleges and also offer resources including GED preparation programs.”

Each year, the HEI, in partnership with the Convention’s Education Commission, raises funds to award at least 20 $1,000 scholarships to Hispanic students during the Hispanic Convention’s annual meeting.

Kevin Kirk, HPU’s associate vice president for enrollment management, said Natividad is doing a great job leading the way for the university’s increased engagement with Texas Baptist Hispanic youth.

“We are very excited for the honor and for the opportunity David has to serve in this way,” Kirk said.

Photo cutline: HPU admission counselor David Natividad recently began a term with the Board of Directors for the BGCT’s Hispanic Education Initiative.

HPU to host financial aid seminars for parents of local students

BROWNWOOD – December 4, 2014 – Parents of local junior and senior high school students are invited to attend a free seminar covering general college financial aid information with an emphasis on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The event will be hosted by Glenda Huff, HPU’s director of student aid, at 6:30 p.m. on January 29 and February 5 in the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center on the HPU campus.

According to Huff, it is extremely advantageous to begin the financial aid process as soon as possible after January 1.

“Some universities have very early priority dates for awarding financial aid funds,” she said. “These sessions are open to parents of all area students, even those not planning to enroll at HPU.”

University representatives will also discuss HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship Program, designed to benefit students graduating from high schools in Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba counties. The scholarship awards up to $14,000 annually to students who meet unconditional admission requirements.

For more information about the seminars or scholarships, contact PJ Gramling, director of admission, at (325) 649-8406 or For more information about HPU financial aid, visit or call (325) 649-8015.