The Innovation Scholars program at the University of Charleston offers a unique opportunity for UC students, while providing an $80,000 scholarship.

According to, this highly competitive program provides students with real world preparation, opportunities to lead projects, and create new ideas, providing students who become Welch Innovation Scholars with a competitive advantage over their peers.

The Welch Innovation Scholarship is an $80,000 scholarship spread out over the course of four years ($20,000 per year). Students must have a high school GPA of 3.0, with an ACT score of 23 or SAT of 1120 or higher, and participate in an interview and competition during one of our Scholarship Competition Days.

The Innovation Scholar program is an exciting experience for UC scholars as future leaders, as ambassadors for the Innovation Center and the University of Charleston, and strong community and professional contributors.

“Each year a series of students are handpicked through various interview processes to receive scholarships and join our scholar program,” President of the University of Charlestons Innovation Scholars Whitney Hunt said. “More than that, they will be a part of a dynamic team that helps individuals learn and grow in numerous, different areas including; organizational leadership, personal development, emotional intelligence, public speaking, marketing, technological processes and applications, entrepreneurship, and innovation methods and processes.”

This year, Ripley High School senior Kaylee Toler has been selected to receive the prestigious Innovation Scholarship from the University of Charleston, where she plans on majoring in biology.

“I am very grateful and excited to represent my community as an innovative scholar at the University Of Charleston,” Toler said.

Along with receiving the second highest financial awarding scholarship UC has to offer, Toler will be a part of the University’s unique Innovation Scholars team. The Innovation Scholars team participates in and conducts numerous events and projects every year. Some of which include, running the day to day operations of the University of Charleston’s multi-million dollar innovation center, giving tours and presentations to the University’s donors and VIP clients, speaking at invited state conferences, obtaining all expenses paid professional certifications, attending all expenses paid conferences across the nation, teaching their own workshops to the community and student body, competing in business plan competitions, competing in innovation competitions, serving in executive roles, and much more.

Toler said she has always wanted to attend the University of Charleston and could not be happier with they way things are falling into place for her future.

“UC was my number one choice because of the beautiful campus, great location, and smaller population,” she said. “I will also be the fourth-generation member of my family to attend this school and I am very excited!”

“We here at the University of Charleston think it’s important that even during this time we continue to focus on the positive things happening around us,” Hunt said. “What better way to do that than by recognizing the next generations of leaders on their outstanding achievements?”