Free college tuition program expands impact

More Garland ISD students will have an opportunity to receive a free college education thanks to an expansion of the Dallas County Promise program. North Garland and South Garland high schools were invited to join Lakeview Centennial High School as Promise campuses in 2018-19.

“We are extremely excited to offer our students the opportunity to continue their educational goals without the worry of funding,” said North Garland Principal Glenda Williams. “Dallas County Promise will open doors to our students that may have previously been shut.”

As a Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Foundation initiative, it aims to increase college completion and produce a trained workforce. If students accomplish three steps by set deadlines, they will receive tuition, advising, and career pathway guidance. Dallas County Promise covers up to 60 DCCCD credit hours and opens the doors to transfer scholarships to The University of North Texas at Dallas and Southern Methodist University.

LCHS was one of 31 area high schools selected to debut the program in 2017-18, resulting in many successes. Ninety-four percent of Lakeview seniors completed the first step by submitting their Dallas County Promise pledge. Nearly 70 percent then completed the FAFSA or TASFA, and 61 percent enrolled in postsecondary institutions, finalizing steps two and three.  

2018 LCHS grad Andreina Luna took advantage of the program, fulfilling her dream of attending college.

“Once senior year started, I was stressed over what college to go to and how I was going to pay it,” she said. “My parents didn’t have the opportunity to go to college or even finish high school. Thanks to Dallas County Promise, I will be able to attend the college of my choice with no debt to pay. I will continue to make my parents proud and make their struggles worth something.”

North and South are hoping their students can share Luna’s experience during their first year as Promise schools.

“We hope that our students and families see a limitless future, where students can aspire to be more than they ever thought possible,” Williams stated. “Our community will gain skilled and educated citizens with a sense of purpose and commitment to society. We have received an amazing gift through Dallas County Promise and look forward to building great momentum.”  

Learn more about this life-changing opportunity on the Dallas County Promise website.