Burke Collegiate Scholars

Western Piedmont Foundation, Inc. sponsors the Burke Collegiate Scholars, an innovative program designed to encourage academically able rising sixth graders identified as potential first-generation college students, to complete high school and enroll at WPCC with eligibility for full funding for tuition and fees for five consecutive semesters should students not be eligible for sufficient Pell grant funding. Each year, the Foundation selects one Burke Collegiate Scholar and two runners up in each of Burke County’s fifteen elementary schools to participate in the program. The awards are made on the basis of academic potential, leadership skills and financial need.

During these students’ middle school and high school years, the Foundation and WPCC’s Educational Talent Search Program provide support in the form of regular academic assistance and enrichment programs. Check out the Burke Collegiate Scholar Success Stories page to learn more about the outstanding accomplishments of our Burke Collegiate Scholar students!

Photo of Burke Collegiate Scholar

WPCC Graduate
Melissa Xiong
Valdese Elementary
2008 Class of 2015


Burke Collegiate Scholars

The Foundation provides financial support for the Burke Collegiate Scholars (BCS) Program at WPCC. The BCS Program began assisting the College’s efforts to retain students and encourage college degree attainment in 1989.  Each year the program guarantees a two-year college education at WPCC to 16 rising sixth graders who are first generation students (neither parent completed college) from low-income families and have the potential to pursue a college education.  Scholarships are awarded upon the recipient’s graduation from high school and include payment of tuition and fees for any curriculum program.

All students chosen as part of the BCS Program become dually enrolled in the Educational Talent Search program, a federally funded program facilitated by Western Piedmont Community College.  During the middle and high school years, counselors meet with the students on a regular basis to assist them with maximizing their academic success and learning about different careers and the education required to pursue those careers.

Gloria Razza- Burke Collegiate Scholar, 1st Runner-Up from Chesterfield Elementary, Class of 2018

Israel Mendez- Burke Collegiate Scholar from Hillcrest Elementary, Class of 2014