Student learning on laptop.

First-Year Laptop Scholarship Program reduces barriers to education

The Hooppaw family is matching gifts up to $100,000 to provide students with personal technology to succeed in the classroom.

Molly Loonam

Education has always been important to Chris Hooppaw (BS Management '95) and Christy Hooppaw, who established the W. P. Carey Rouse–Hooppaw Scholarship in 2017. The over five-year endowment focused on assisting first-generation college students with financial needs. The scholarship program helped five students obtain degrees from W. P. Carey.

"Enabling individuals to pursue education who might not otherwise have the means is critical to all of us. It's rewarding to open those doors in as many ways possible," say the Hooppaws.

Chris and Christy Hooppaw.

When the endowment commitment was fulfilled last year, the Hooppaws wanted to continue supporting students. In the fall of 2023, they partnered with the W. P. Carey Undergraduate Programs Office and the Technology Strategy and Operations team to found the First-Year Laptop Scholarship Program. The pilot program ensures that incoming first-year students with significant financial needs receive a laptop to keep.

"If students don't have access to a laptop, they have to find other ways to access information, research, and other technology such as AI," says Chris Hooppaw. "Access to technology levels the playing field."

Chris Hooppaw, vice president of credit risk at T-Mobile, and Christy Hooppaw, a business partner at Hoop X3, LLC, recognize that access to technology is crucial to pursuing higher education today. The digital divide has increased barriers to education since the pandemic forced schools to teach courses remotely. Attending college online and in-person requires a computer and reliable internet to attend classes, access online course content, submit assignments, and conduct research. Providing technology to students otherwise unable to afford a laptop, which can easily cost over $2000, enables them to maximize their educational potential.

While many programs and scholarship opportunities are available to assist students with tuition, financial aid does not always cover a student's personal technology needs.

"Laptops aren't cheap. The last thing we want is for students experiencing financial need to worry about purchasing a laptop," says Christy Hooppaw.

The Hooppaws have agreed to match gifts up to $100,000, and the scholarship has supported 16 students in obtaining laptops so far.

Chris and Christy Hooppaw.

"As a matching gift, we hope this serves as an impetus to encourage others to give and grow a program providing students with the tools they need to excel in school today," say the Hooppaws. "This is a way for us to help students who may not have the opportunities we had while attending ASU."

The Hooppaws, who met at ASU, say their Sun Devil experience enriched their lives and put them in a position to support others. As access to the right technology becomes increasingly important for student success, they are grateful for opportunities to support the university and continue working with W. P. Carey.

"Ensuring future generations can access education is critical," says Chris Hooppaw. "This scholarship has a meaningful impact and we hope others also see the value in it."

Learn more about supporting the W. P. Carey First-Year Laptop Scholarship Program.

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