UTB One of Five Texas Institutions to Receive Early College High School Scholarship Funds
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 – The University of Texas at Brownsville formally received $605,000 from the Greater Texas Foundation to provide scholarships to help Early College High School students graduate with a four-year degree.
The money from the GTF Scholars: Early College High School Transfer Scholarship and Retention Program will help at least 700 Early College High School students statewide beginning in fall 2012 and will last six years. The announcement was made on Thursday, Sept. 29 during a ceremony in the Education and Business Complex’s School of Business Courtyard.
“We make investments,” said Dr. Wynn Rosser, Executive Director of the Greater Texas Foundation. “We expect the return to be from the individuals and in this case the university and region.”
There are more than 40 Early College High Schools in Texas, including the Brownsville, Harlingen, Hidalgo, Mercedes, McAllen, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, Progreso and Valley View school districts. Students selected to attend the schools can earn high school diplomas and up to 60 university semester credit hours when they graduate.
“You have convinced yourself, and you have convinced us that you anticipate and your expectations are to be much more what most of us ended up doing in our careers,” said Dr. Juliet V. García, President of UTB.
The Brownsville Early College High School is a partnership between UTB and the Brownsville Consolidated Independent School District.
“I know you are giving these kids their dream,” said Dawn Hall, Brownsville Early College High School Principal.
One of the students who could benefit from the financial help is Jose Araujo, 17, of Brownsville and a senior at the Brownsville Early College High School.
Araujo is a first-generation university student. He wants to study criminal justice and work for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“We are getting money to continue our education,” said Araujo. “It’s a great opportunity. I got what I wanted right on time.”
One of Araujo’s classmates, 17-year-old Eduardo Zavala of Brownsville, received some of the first financial help from the initiative. Rosser awarded Zavala a $1,000 scholarship that can be used for any four-year institution he attends in Texas.
“That was not expected,” said Zavala. “I’m very thankful for the people that are here today.”
UTB is one of five Texas institutions that received a share of $3.32 million in scholarship funds for six years beginning in fall 2012 from the Bryan-based statewide education grant-making foundation. It is the state’s first scholarship program designed specifically for the growing number of early college high school graduates in Texas. The other institutions that are part of the program are The University of Texas at El Paso, Texas A&M University in College Station, the University of Houston and the University of North Texas in Denton.