Dallas County Promise: What it is and why you should be involved
By: Lauren Turner | Published: October 2, 2019
This year, Lake Highlands has partnered with Dallas Country Promise (DCP) to make higher education more accessible to students. Dallas County Promise is an organization that offers tuition assistance and coverage, academic coaching, and advising to students in Dallas County. They’ve partnered with 57 schools in the area in an effort to close the education gap.
“I would think that it’s a great incentive [to graduate],” College and Career Coordinator Robin Finklea said. “And I think that it gives students that hope and opportunity that maybe they might not have had, because you know, we have probably some first generation students that don’t understand the process, that don’t feel like they could afford to go to college, so maybe they don’t have anything to really work for, so I think this gives them that opportunity to do that.”
Some RISD schools that have partnered with DCP include Richardson High School, Berkner High School, and of course, Lake Highlands High School. The schools that have partnered with DCP can have their seniors take the “Promise Pledge,” which certifies that students will be applying and receiving their college education with the help of DCP. The pledge opens Oct. 1, and seniors on track to graduate in 2020 can sign up until Feb. 7.
“I don’t want to discourage any student for thinking that they have to do this, but I don’t want them to miss out on it, even if they’re looking at going to a four-year college and they know that’s their plan, things can happen,” Finklea said. “Your plans might change. You don’t know what’s going to happen in your world. I just want everybody to have this in their back pocket, even if it’s not their first alternative.”
Some notable universities that have partnered with DCP include Southern Methodist University, Texas Woman’s University, Austin College, and Texas A&M University in Commerce. Promise scholars will receive free tuition to all of the partnered universities, after financial aid has been applied.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for all the seniors here at Lake Highlands High School to be able to have the opportunity to go to college with free tuition,” Finklea said. “It’s a great opportunity. And, you know, I don’t want anyone to miss out on that, so I’m really going to encourage all students to sign the pledge, to be able to be part of it, because if they miss out on the deadline of doing that, then they won’t be able to participate at all.”
DCP recommends that students and families prepare to cover some costs of college. This includes supplies, rent, food, and transportation. These are general costs that can change depending on each student’s situation and college plan. Each student is different, so DCP is prepared for any questions you may have.
“We hope to expand to more high schools and include more partner colleges each year,” Philip Fabian, a manager at DCP said. “We are extremely excited to welcome Lake Highlands High School to our program, and we look forward to supporting students and their families in the Lake Highland High School community.”
You can find more information and contact info on the Dallas County Promise website.