University of the Incarnate Word. Photo by Iris Dimmick.
Administrative building at the University of the Incarnate Word. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

H-E-B announced on Tuesday that the grocery chain will provide $2,500 to the first 25 public high school students to enroll in the University of the Incarnate Word’s new Texas Top Five Percent Direct Admit Health Professions Program. The scholarships are renewable annually, totaling $10,000 per student over the course of their college career.

The new program offers provisional admission for Texas high school students seeking advanced degrees in nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, optometry or medicine who are in the top 5% of their class after their junior year of high school. Students can enroll in the program and spend their senior year maintaining their performance with a clear picture of what awaits them after graduation. With the additional scholarship from H-E-B, the students have an added incentive to apply quickly.

“H-E-B is proud of our long standing relationship with UIW. This commitment reflects our dedication to Texas public education and improving the health and wellness of the communities we serve,” stated Dya Campos, H-E-B director of public affairs in a news release.

Institutions around the city are developing programs to incentivize pipelines into healthcare professions. Currently the state is seeing a shortage of qualified candidates for positions across the healthcare field, especially positions which require advanced certification.

“We have had a great response to the announcement of our new Texas Top Five Percent program and we are thankful that our friends at H-E-B recognize the program’s potential impact to alleviate the shortage of healthcare professionals in our state,” stated UIW President Lou Agnese.

Public and private partnerships have sought innovative ways to connect populations underrepresented in the healthcare professions to training programs and healthcare providers such as the Alamo Colleges‘ Health Profession Opportunity Grants. The UIW program will continue to pursue high-achieving high school students to ensure that healthcare becomes an increasingly appealing option for students considering a variety of options.

“The H-E-B scholarships will provide even more incentive for Texas students to take advantage of this innovative program,” Agnese said.

Top image: Administrative building at the University of the Incarnate Word. Photo by Iris Dimmick.

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Bekah McNeel

Bekah McNeel is a native San Antonian. You can also find her at her blog,, on Twitter @BekahMcneel, and on Instagram @wanderbekah.