Hear from students on the power of a scholarship! Meet Billy F.

It’s scholarship season! Austin Community College District (ACC) students can now apply for more than $1 million in scholarships to help with college costs. Applications for more than 800 ACC scholarships are now open.

ACC streamlines the process of applying for support with the General Scholarship Application. The one-time application automatically applies students to personalized opportunities based on financial need, academic success, heritage, and identity. The priority deadline to apply for ACC scholarships is May 1. For more information, visit austincc.edu/scholarships.

Any scholarship can make a difference in students’ lives. Hear from Fashion Design student Billy Fairley about how his scholarship helps him inside and outside the classroom.

Tell me about your time at ACC.

During my time at ACC, I have immersed myself in fashion design, overcoming my initial lack of knowledge about the industry. I have delved into various techniques, from design to pattern creation, pattern grading, fashion illustration, and draping. Each course has been a stepping stone, expanding my skills and knowledge base. As I progress through my degree plan in fashion design, I look forward to applying these techniques in real-world settings, confident in my ability to navigate the complexities of the fashion industry. My anticipated graduation date is spring 2025, and I am excited to see where this journey will take me.

Which scholarship did you receive?

I am grateful to have received the scholarship from the Austin Assistance League, a nonprofit organization of dedicated volunteers committed to addressing specific needs through practical and innovative programs. Through their support, I have been assigned an advocate who has been instrumental in helping me navigate the challenges of balancing regular life with my studies. Their encouragement and guidance have motivated me to persevere, reminding me of the importance of my education and fueling my determination to succeed.

Initially, I received $2,000 spread over two semesters, but I have also received additional support in order to purchase an industry-standard JUKI sewing machine that is dedicated to me.

How did it feel to receive a scholarship?

I was grateful to receive such an award, and it has motivated me to be the best I can possibly be in my program. I believe that when someone believes in you and supports you, there is only one way to repay them: by achieving the goal they invested in with you. 

How did it help you reach your goals?

It has taken financial burdens off my shoulders and allowed me to purchase all the supplies I needed for the semester. 

What was your favorite part of ACC?

There are industry-hired professionals who teach the classes—I had a 3D Animation teacher who worked at Pixar, a 3D modeling teacher who worked at Bethesda, and even now, I have an industry-trained instructor in Design Construction Techniques who was so good at fashion design that she won a scholarship based on her level of skill, and she still works as a buyer at ByGeorge.

What a tip you would give someone looking to apply for scholarships?

Be true to yourself, and apply without fear — there are only two answers: yes or no. 

What would you tell someone considering applying for college?

Figure out what you want to achieve by looking within yourself and determining your imprint on the world. Then, wholeheartedly pursue it. 

What is next for you?

I plan to study abroad over the summer in Paris and view some colleges of fashion and design while I am there, and then I will pursue an internship at some of my favorite footwear brands while furthering my knowledge of fashion and design. 

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