College

'Chewbacca mom,' her family receive full scholarships to Southeastern University

Candace Payne talks Facebook video that has gone viral

 

A Florida university announced Monday it has offered scholarships to a woman who made the viral Facebook video showing her laughing hysterically as she tries on a Chewbacca mask.

Southeastern University said that its president presented Candace Payne and her entire family with full tuition scholarships. President Dr. Kent Ingle said Payne, a Texas native, inspired the university with the joy she expressed on her video.

Ingle said the school wanted her family to experience some of that joy in return.

"Over 90-percent of our students receive institutional aid. We've had the privilege to increase that aid from $6 million to $25 million this year. If we can help her in any way, we want to do that," Executive Vice President Brian Carroll said.

The move didn’t come without criticism. August Schmidt, a Southeastern University student, told Fox 13 News he didn’t like the move but said Payne and her children are welcome at the school.

"I have student loan debt. I have two jobs, a family and a kid, but honestly, it's a gift to them they should take it," he said.

Payne has been presented with several other gifts since her video went viral. She received Star Wars toys from Kohl’s and she also met Chewbacca at Disney World during her visit to Florida earlier this week.

The video has become an internet sensation, garnering millions of views and landing Payne as a guest on several talk and news shows.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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