Grant to Help Disadvantaged Students Enter College

UT Dallas Works With Area Schools to Ease Application and Aid Process

June 8, 2009

UT Dallas has received a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to help first-generation and economically disadvantaged students navigate the sometimes-complex process of getting into college.

The two-year, $133,324 grant will fund a comprehensive college access initiative dubbed the Comet College Community Partnership Program. 

“Staff in the program will work directly with students and their families to provide detailed information, answer questions and ease concerns about admission and financial aid procedures,” said Dr. Magaly Spector, vice president and head of the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement.
           
To build the program, UT Dallas staff members worked with partner schools to develop a curriculum that will coach students and parents on how to choose a college, apply for admission and pay for school.
           
Comet College Community Partnership sessions will be held either after school or on weekends, and participants will attend five education sessions at UT Dallas.
           
Participating students and their families also will attend three higher-education field trips, including one trip to a community college and two trips to area universities.
           
Set to begin this summer, the program will initially target 40 high school juniors and their parents from Emmett Conrad High School in the Dallas Independent School District, and another 40 juniors and their parents from four high schools in the Richardson Independent School District.
           
The grant includes transportation to Comet College Community Partnership sessions, as well as meals for students and parents, program-related supplies, and on-site child care.
           
“We want to reduce as many potential barriers as possible for parental involvement,” Spector added.

Additional funding for the program may be provided if support is available and interest in the program continues.  For more information, contact Raúl Hinojosa, director of community engagement, at (972) 883-4562, or email raul.hinojosa@utdallas.edu.

About the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement
The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement promotes the fulfillment of the UT Dallas commitment to embrace, enhance and celebrate diversity at all levels of the University through the efforts of faculty, staff, student and the executive leadership.


Media Contacts: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, jennib@utdallas.edu, 972-883-4431
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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