TYLER, Texas (KETK) – UT Tyler is making surprise visits to East Texas High schools notifying seniors of their scholarship awards.

This program is very competitive and takes a lot of work to even be considered. Out of the almost 800 applicants, only 25 students are chosen.

On Feb. 14, UT Tyler stopped at three schools including TK Gorman. Students gathered in their school cafeterias, and one person received a $40,000 check.

Family, friends and even UT Tyler’s mascot Swoop joined together to celebrate these students and their achievements.

Zoey Broaddus received a scholarship and explains that it came as a shock to her.

“I was very surprised. Nobody had told me. I’ve just kind of been waiting impatiently for an email from UT Tyler,” said Broaddus.

Associate Vice President at UT Tyler David Barron explains why Broaddus was one of the 25 students chose for this award.

“Zoe, based on her academic accomplishments and her great interview skills, knocking that out of the park, was chosen as one of those recipients for a $10,000 scholarship per year. Renewable for $40,000 for her academic career,” he said.

This award helped get the collective scholarship pool for seniors at TK Gorman in Tyler over the $5 million mark.