Texas Tech University

Thoma Scholars Webbanner

Thoma Scholars Program

The Thoma Scholarship Program seeks out rural students with demonstrated academic and leadership potential from the Oklahoma Panhandle, Texas Panhandle, and Eastern New Mexico with the dual goals of ensuring college completion and developing leaderships skills amongst these students.

Recipients of the Thoma Scholarship will receive a significant financial award designed to substantially mitigate student debt incurred while pursuing a four-year undergraduate degree. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, room and board, books, an international study abroad experience and other education-related expenses.

Additionally, Thoma Scholars will receive comprehensive support from Texas Tech staff members devoted to the students. Recipients will have unique opportunities, including career-aspirations coaching, on-campus programming, leadership training and access to academic support and counseling.


Application Deadline: January 15, 2024


To be considered for the Thoma Scholars Program a student must be living in one of the following counties:

Armstrong, Briscoe, Carson, Castro, Childress, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, and Wheeler

New Mexico
Union, Quay, Curry, Roosevelt, and Lea

Beaver, Cimarron, Texas, Harper, Woodward, and Ellis

Eligibility for students living in these counties will also be determined for the Thoma Scholars Program by the following:

Academic Merit:
Based on GPA,class rank, test scores, and rigor of curriculum.

Leadership Potential:
Demonstrated through participation in student government, high school athletics, religious organizations, groups like FFA or 4H, volunteering, working to support their families, entrepreneurism, & more.

While in the Thoma Foundation Program, students must:

    • Be enrolled full-time (12 credit hours) per semester
    • Participate in Thoma Scholar events throughout the year, including during the summer
    • Meet with Thoma Scholar staff regularly to discuss their progress
    • Maintain a certain GPA
    • Be a leader in and engage with their community


Additional Resources

In addition to the continuing academic scholarship requirements, the successful Thoma Scholar will be prepared to be actively involved in campus activities.

Thoma Scholars live in Murray Hall during their first year. Living together helps create a strong community and form lasting friendships during their time in the residence hall. Many choose to continue living with other scholars on campus after their first year. Learn more here.

Scholars will also have the opportunity to participate in the TTU Honors College. Thoma Scholars are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the benefits that being a member of the Honors College affords. Apply to the Honors College here.


Thoma Foundation

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation recognizes that education and the arts enhance individuals' lives and communities. Education is centered in the rural Southwest, primarily focusing on scholarships. In the arts, we make grants, lend and exhibit our art collection. We are strong believers in leadership, innovation, and equality of opportunity.

Carl and Marilynn trace their roots to the Panhandle region as early as 1888 and feel a strong affinity for its resilient people. Carl grew up in Union County, New Mexico, and Cimarron County, Oklahoma. Marilynn hails from Woodward County, Oklahoma.

Carl and Marilynn Thoma
“Students from rural areas face many obstacles to success in higher education. The Thoma Scholars Program removes those barriers and invests in their success the way our parents did in ours. This program recognizes the integrity and grit of the people of the rural Panhandle region. We believe we are supporting the next generation of leaders.”

- Carl and Marilynn Thoma



David Reyes
Admissions Counselor for Thoma Scholars

Christy Montecillo
Financial Aid & Scholarships