Million Dollar States
$1 Million for Access in Texas
- $1 Million for Access in Texas
- $1 Million for Access in Texas video
- Improving College Access in Texas
- A Conversation with Dr. Lupita Garcia of the Houston Independent School District (HISD)
- Did You Know: Texas by the Numbers
Through the $1 Million Access Campaign in Texas, officially announced in March 2007, The Sallie Mae Fund partners with Texas government, school districts, colleges and universities, and local communities to address the college access gap in Texas—a state with the second-highest number of K-12 low-income and minority students in the nation.
The need for additional college outreach in the state is significant. In Texas, a large gap exists among ethnic groups in both enrollment and graduation rates.
A 2000 statewide initiative, "Closing the Gaps," aims to address declining college participation across Texas by investing in the pipeline earlier. Specifically, it calls for an additional 500,000 Texas students to participate in higher education by 2015. Among the goals, the plan aims to increase the college participation rate for the Hispanic population in Texas from 3.7% in 2000 to 5.7% in 2015—an increase of 120,000 Hispanic students. Similarly, it aims to increase the number of Hispanic students completing a higher education degree or certificate from 18,000 to 50,000 over 15 years.
Components of the Texas $1 Million Initiative include:
- Expanded Bus Tour Presence: The Sallie Mae Fund's popular “Paying for College” Bus Tour is visiting 15 cities in Texas this spring. Now in its third year, this Tour brings with it free workshops and information on scholarships, grants, loans, and federal aid. Find out more about the Bus Tour.
- Houston Independent School District (HISD) SuccessExpress: The SuccessExpress is HISD's new paying-for-college bus, outfitted as a mobile college counseling center, that will bring bilingual information about planning and paying for college to Houston-area students and families. SuccessExpress is modeled on The Sallie Mae Fund's successful national "Paying for College" Bus Tour. HISD is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest nationally.
- Kids2College: The Sallie Mae Fund, in partnership with Texas A&M University, will offer an early college-awareness program for HISD sixth graders to bring to life the dream of higher education. Sixth-grade classes are paired with a local college or university to participate in lessons that provide information on careers, college life, and how to choose courses that give them the greatest range of options for education beyond high school. Six thousand HISD sixth graders will benefit from this program in 2007, which will culminate with a visit to one of the following partner universities:
- Houston Baptist University
- Houston Community College
- Texas A&M Galveston
- Texas A&M Prairie View
- Texas Southern University
- University of Houston
- University of Houston Downtown
- University of St. Thomas Houston
- Collegiate G-Force: This program gives college Work-Study students a $500 scholarship/stipend to work for Texas Go-Centers, which motivate students around the state to pursue higher education. The Sallie Mae Fund will support this program by funding students to staff Go-Centers. In addition, The Sallie Mae Fund will work with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner's Office to make free materials available to high school guidance counselors.
- San Antonio Education Partnership: This partnership consists of students and their families, the City of San Antonio, local colleges and universities, San Antonio corporations, local school districts, and community groups. The Sallie Mae Fund will support scholarships for students graduating from partnership high schools who are the first in their family to attend college, receive free or reduced lunch, and are Pell Grant eligible.
By partnering with the state of Texas and the higher education community in this targeted campaign, The Sallie Mae Fund can help give these students the resources and confidence to pursue and pay for college.