Texas Tech University

First-Year Personal Financial Planning Students Awarded National Merit Finalist Scholarships

Ashley Brister

September 24, 2021

George Allen and Andrew Matz share their experience as national merit semifinalists and how Texas Tech has helped fund their college experience

allenIncoming first-year students who take the PSAT exam in their junior year of high school and reach the top 1% of their class in Texas qualify as merit semifinalists. Once students are selected as a semifinalist, they can fill out a scholarship application and, if selected, will advance to finalist standing. Qualifying students who designate Texas Tech University as their first-choice institution are eligible to receive the National Merit Finalist Scholarship, which guarantees 100% of the approved cost of attendance.

Personal Financial Planning majors George Allen and Andrew Matz were awarded the National Merit Finalist Scholarship upon choosing Texas Tech. Both students credit the scholarship program for supporting their career goals of becoming financial planners.

“Once I got to the point of being selected as a finalist, I felt such a sense of relief and some pride that I had achieved a goal set before me a long time ago,” Allen said. “Certain people in the College of Human Sciences and other departments of TTU helped me understand what was being offered to me. I specifically remember talking to Billy Tiongco—he explained the scholarship to me. Some other schools made their National Merit scholarships sound better than they were, but Tech was 100% transparent throughout the whole process.”

For Allen, the scholarship financially provided him with the opportunity to pursue a bachelor's degree at the top university for financial planning.

“Having the opportunity to be in the best Financial Planning program in the country for free is something I do not take for granted,” Allen said. “It has given me the ability to kickstart my career goals in an environment that will push me to be the best in whatever I do. PFP is one of the best programs in the country at connecting its students with paid internships before graduation, which gives us a leg up once we graduate.”

For Allen, being a Personal Financial Planning student not only means preparing for the business side of financial planning and understanding the importance of interpersonal relationships as a financial planner.

“This is important to me because at the end of the day, your relationships with your clients will be what makes the job fulfilling and worth it, and Texas Tech's PFP program emphasizes that,” Allen said.

matzFor Matz, his high school counselor played a significant role in finding out about the scholarship opportunity. The decision to attend Texas Tech came quickly, with the support of his family behind him.

“I was very excited to hear that I had been selected to advance in the program,” Matz said. “While touring Texas Tech, I was able to speak with many faculty and staff members of the PFP program, and I knew that it was the best fit for me. This program will greatly assist me in achieving my goal of becoming a personal financial advisor and hopefully opening my own finance firm after graduating college.”