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Howard Payne University and area ISDs establish guaranteed acceptance program

BROWNWOOD – January 12, 2023 – Howard Payne University and representatives of the seven independent school districts in Brown County recently announced the launch of a partnership to provide automatic acceptance to the university for high-achieving students from high schools in the area. Participating ISDs are those of Bangs, Blanket, Brookesmith, Brownwood, Early, May and Zephyr.

In accordance with the arrangements, HPU will grant automatic admission to students from these high schools who graduate within the top 25% of their respective classes and will waive the requirement that these students submit ACT, CLT or SAT scores for admission. The university will also waive the application fee for these students. Additionally, HPU will provide ongoing support to these high schools through financial aid, admissions and degree counseling; work study mentorships; peer mentoring and more. Area high school graduates who qualify for HPU’s Heart of Texas Scholarship Program will receive an award guarantee of $60,000 over four years.

The participating ISDs will promote the availability of the guaranteed acceptance program to students, parents and community stakeholders, specifically informing each qualifying graduate of the opportunity for automatic admission to HPU upon applying.

“The ongoing partnerships between HPU and area school districts further the educational missions of each,” said Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president. “Area ISDs secure a benefit for high-achieving students, and HPU benefits from the targeted, intentional promotion of its educational opportunities to those students. I look forward to the greater opportunities this arrangement will make available to students from our area.”

The arrangements were officially recognized at ceremonies in December with Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president, and representatives of the participating ISDs.

Public or private school officials interested in establishing a guaranteed acceptance program with Howard Payne University may contact Jacob Rohrer, assistant to the president for special projects, at to begin the agreement process.

To learn more about Howard Payne University, please visit


Cutline for photos: Dr. Joe Young (in black), superintendent of Brownwood ISD, and Dr. Dewayne Wilkins, superintendent of schools for Early ISD, take part in ceremonies recognizing agreements with Howard Payne University, represented by Dr. Cory Hines, HPU president, to establish a guaranteed acceptance program. Brownwood ISD and Early ISD are two of the seven school districts in the area to participate.