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FAQs

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Looking for more information?

Thanks for your interest in the Dallas County Promise! Review our full list of frequently asked questions for answers we hear often below. For information specifically about our partner colleges and universities, download and review the policy document.

Have a question that's not on the FAQ list? Reach out to the Dallas County Promise team at info@DallasCountyPromise.org

2018-2019 POLICY & PROCESS DOCUMENT:

For a detailed look at the Dallas County Promise policies and procedures, click here. This includes program information and details about our partner offers, requirements, and much more. 

Policies may be subject to change without notice. It is each individual's responsibility to refer to the policies as posted here for updates and changes to the Promise program. If you have additional questions that are not covered in this policy document or answered below, please email info@dallascountypromise.org.

Dallas County Promise Benefits & Details

What is the Dallas County Promise?

The Dallas County Promise is more than just a scholarship. The Promise is a program to reduce financial barriers and support students to succeed in college, careers, and life with a commitment to securing a rewarding job in their career pathway.

The Promise is available to all 2020 graduates in 57 participating high schools across 11 school districts. All 2020 graduates - regardless of GPA or family income - have the opportunity to earn a last-dollar scholarship that will cover any gap between what a student’s state and federal financial aid cover and the cost of tuition at a Promise Partner college. Promise Scholars also have access to a Success Coach and exclusive transfer scholarships at Promise partner colleges and universities.

What does the Dallas County Promise scholarship cover?


The Dallas County Promise scholarship pays any balance of tuition not covered by federal or state financial aid at participating Promise partner colleges. Promise Scholars will also be matched with a Success Coach who will serve as a mentor for students, beginning at the end of their senior year through college completion. For more details on the direct and transfer scholarship offers at participating partner colleges, visit the Promise Partner College page.

Promise Scholars attending a Dallas County Community College (DCCCD) who also meet income requirements and have a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale will also receive the Rising Star Scholarship to cover the cost of textbooks. Promise + Rising Star scholars will also be matched with an in-person Rising Star advisor. Seniors in a Promise high school must complete all three Promise deadlines, including the Promise Pledge and DCCCD admissions application, by February 7, 2020 in order to be eligible for both Promise and Rising Star scholarships.

Which colleges are Dallas County Promise transfer partners?


Dallas County Promise Partner colleges and universities provide financial aid and support services for Promise Scholars. Offers vary by institution and whether or not a student is graduating from high school with an associate degree. For more details on the direct and transfer scholarship offers, visit the Promise Partner College page.

Additionally, the Tom Joyner Foundation is offering 25 transfer scholarships to HBCU institutions in Texas to Promise Scholars who want to pursue a career in teaching in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). Learn more about this opportunity

Can I use my Dallas County Promise scholarship at another school?

The Dallas County Promise scholarship can only be used at participating Promise partner colleges and universities. However, completing the Promise Pledge does NOT commit you to attending a Promise partner college or university.

Transfer scholarships are available to various Partner colleges and universities, with more partners coming on board soon. Students who complete an associate degree in high school may be eligible to use their Dallas County Promise tuition scholarships at UNT Dallas, SMU, MSU and TAMUC  directly following high school.

My high school is not on the participating school list. Is there another scholarship for me?

You may still be eligible to access a tuition and textbook scholarship to DCCCD through Rising Star. Visit www.DCCCD.edu/RisingStar for more information. Rising Star scholarship applications open October 1 and are due February 8 for all high schools.

How were the 2017-18 Promise High Schools selected?

Each participating Dallas County Promise campus is either a TEA-approved Early College High School co-sponsored by a DCCCD College; a co-sponsor of a Collegiate Academy; or submitted college and career readiness plans and commitments through a process developed in partnership with area school districts, the Dallas County Community College District, and Jobs for the Future, to help ensure all students are on a college- and career-ready pathway to success.

For more information on becoming a Promise high school, contact Eric.Ban@DallasCountyPromise.org.

What type of courses can I enroll in as a Promise Scholar?

Students may enroll in either college credit courses or select workforce training certificate programs through continuing education. Promise Scholars may also use Promise program dollars towards the completion of developmental classes. Please refer any questions to your academic advisor to ensure courses selected are Promise eligible.

I will be graduating high school with an associate degree, can I still enroll at DCCCD?

Promise scholarship funding can only be applied towards your first degree. Students who graduate with an Associate degree from high school may not use Promise scholarship funding to attend DCCCD to complete an additional associate degree or Workforce Training Certificate. UNT Dallas, SMU, Midwestern State and TAMUC are Promise options for students completing Associate degrees in high school.

Do you plan on partnering with other colleges to expand the scholarship options for Promise Scholars?

We are actively engaging with other colleges and universities to form new scholarship opportunities for Promise Scholars. Any new college or university offers through the Dallas County Promise program will be shared on our website and through direct student and parent communication. For more details on the current scholarship offers, visit the Promise Partner College page.

Eligibility Criteria

Who is eligible?

All 2020 graduates who have attended a participating high school for their full senior year (enrolled by October 25, 2019) can receive the Dallas County Promise scholarship by meeting all Promise deadlines for pledge, admissions application, financial aid application, and registration. Please refer to the participating college list for any college-specific requirements.

Can non-US citizens receive the Dallas County Promise?


Yes, all students eligible to complete a FAFSA or TASFA application can receive the Dallas County Promise. Don’t forget, a DACA number does not allow you to complete a FAFSA application. Please complete a TASFA application instead. For more help on TASFA completion visit, AIE.org.

To be eligible for in-state tuition and the Promise funding undocumented students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Graduated from a Texas HS or received a GED in Texas;
  • Resided in Texas 36 months leading up to high school graduation or receipt of GED;
  • Resided in Texas 12 months prior to college enrollment;
  • Student provides a notarized affidavit stating sh/he will apply to become a permanent resident at the earliest opportunity s/he is eligible to do so.

Are ESL students eligible for the Dallas County Promise?

Yes, all 2020 seniors from participating high schools who meet all three Promise deadlines and in-state residency requirements are eligible to receive the Dallas County Promise.

Does Dallas County Promise have a GPA requirement?

The Dallas County Promise does not have a GPA requirement for the initial semester at DCCCD. However, some Promise partner universities do have admission criteria for eligibility. Promise Scholars who wish to enroll at DCCCD and meet all Promise deadlines, have financial need, and have a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale will also receive the Rising Star Scholarship to cover the cost of textbooks.

Students entering DCCCD on academic probation due to dual credit grades are eligible for Promise for the first Fall semester. If students do not meet the 2.0 GPA renewal requirement at the end of the Fall semester, they may not be able to continue on in the Promise program.

Does Dallas County Promise have Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements?

No. However, all incoming DCCCD students must meet the requirements of the Texas Success Initiative to take college-level courses. For students who do not meet TSI requirements, Dallas County Promise can be used to cover the cost of developmental courses. Learn more about TSI requirements.

Is there a limit on the number of students that can receive the Dallas County Promise or Rising Star?

There is no cap on the number of 2020 graduates that can receive the Promise gap funding at a DCCCD college (including Rising Star scholarship), UNT Dallas, MSU or TAMUC. However, transfer scholarships to SMU and other partner universities are limited. (For specific requirements and eligibility by school, please refer to http://dallascountypromise.org/students/college-partners.)

Is a student with a criminal record eligible?

It depends on the level of the infraction. Dallas County Promise follows the same eligibility requirements for students with a criminal record as the federal Pell grant.

Is there a maximum number of hours a student can take per year under Promise?

Students may not take any more than 36 credit hours a year (fall, spring and summer sessions) at a DCCCD College.

I just moved to Dallas. Am I eligible for the Dallas County Promise?

To be eligible, students must have been enrolled in a participating high school as of October 25, 2019 and graduate from a participating high school during the 2019-2020 school year.

If I am taking dual credit classes in high school, am I still eligible for Promise?

Yes. Dual-credit students are still eligible to receive Promise scholarship funding to complete the balance of hours needed for an associate degree. Students who finish an associate degree in high school are eligible for a scholarship to UNT Dallas, SMU, MSU and TAMUC. These students should list this Promise partner university on their FAFSA/TASFA and also complete a respective admissions application in their senior year of high school.

I am graduating early my Senior year, am I still eligible?

Students graduating before Spring 2020 are able to participate in the Dallas County Promise; however, Promise funding does not begin until the fall semester following high school graduation (Ex. Fall 2020 for December 2019 graduates). Students must graduate between August 1, 2019 and July 30, 2020 to be eligible for Promise in Fall 2020.

I am not eligible for in-state tuition, what happens next?

Students who have not met Texas residency requirements, including students classified as international or out-of-country students, are not eligible for the Dallas County Promise and/or the Rising Star scholarship.

Students who have questions regarding their eligibility for in-district or in-state residency status for tuition purposes should visit their college admissions office.

Can I take time off or enroll later with the Dallas County Promise?

No - students who enter the Promise Program and sit out for one long semester (fall or spring), must complete an appeal form if they fail to enroll each fall and spring semesters. Appeals for renewal are completed through the Promise Partner college - usually in academic advising or with the student's Promise Success Coach.

I’m not caught up on my tax reports, what can I do so that it won’t affect my child’s financial eligibility?

To complete a 2020-2021 FAFSA/TASFA, students will need 2018 tax information for themselves and parents that worked in 2018. If the student and/or parents have not filed their 2018 taxes, they should consider filing the appropriate tax forms as soon as possible to ensure the student is able to complete a financial aid application. Visit with a tax service professional for further details on filing the appropriate tax forms.

I have more than one child graduating this year, is there a cap on promise scholarships for households?

No. There is not a household limit on the number of students eligible for the Dallas County Promise scholarship program.

Process & Timeline

How do I apply?

To be eligible to receive the Dallas County Promise (and  Rising Star scholarship at DCCCD only), 2020 graduates must meet three key deadlines:

  • February 7: Complete the Dallas County Promise Pledge at DallasCountyPromise.org AND submit a parent signature on your Student Waiver Form (FERPA Form) if under 18 at the time of Pledge completion.
  • February 7: Admissions Application for Promise Partner Colleges due. Note: Students intending to enroll at a DCCCD college who have been enrolled in dual credit courses at DCCCD within the last year need only to update their contact information with the DCCCD college in which they intend to enroll.
  • March 6: Submit FAFSA or TASFA with a Promise partner college or university listed. Note: Students submitting a TASFA, please retain an electronic or printed and stamped receipt as proof of submission to a Promise partner college or university. 
  • July 31: Complete registration for the fall semester.

Seniors in a Promise high school must complete the Promise Pledge by February 7, 2020 to be eligible for both Promise and Rising Star. Students that miss any of the deadlines are not eligible to receive either scholarship.

What Information do I need to complete my Promise Pledge?

The Dallas County Promise Pledge is due by February 7. You will need your full name, Social Security Number (if applicable), date of birth, address, email address, cell phone number, and parent/guardian contact information. Click here to access.

When do I have to start classes?

In order to take advantage of the Dallas County Promise scholarship, Promise Scholars must start classes the fall semester after graduation. If you have a hardship please email Phillip.Fabian@DallasCountyPromise.org for information on how to be considered for an extension.

What do I need to do to renew my Promise scholarship once I’m in DCCCD?

To continue to receive the Dallas County Promise scholarship, scholars must meet the cumulative GPA (2.0 overall) and Satisfactory Academic Progress (67% of all attempted credit hours) requirement each semester, take at least 18 hours over the course of each year, and complete their FAFSA/TASFA each year by March 6. 

Promise Scholars and Rising Star scholars must enroll in the fall and spring semester during their first year and must not skip a fall or spring semester during the three-year eligibility period. However, Promise scholars and Rising Star scholars may enroll in fall, spring, summer, winter or May terms after enrolling in their initial fall semester.

Promise Scholars must complete their financial aid file, including verification before Spring Priority registration opens. All gift aid for which they are eligible, including Pell and state grants must be accepted.It is the scholar's responsibility to keep contact information up to date with Dallas County Promise, Rising Star, and the awarding institution’s registrar’s office. Incorrect contact information does not prevent a student from becoming ineligible.

My phone number or email address changed after I completed my Promise Pledge. What do I do?

All Promise scholarship information will be sent to the email and phone number you list on your Promise Pledge. If your contact information changes, please let us know by emailing info@DallasCountyPromise.org and include your full name and HS student ID.

What happens if I become ineligble or am suspended from the Promise Program?

Promise Scholars with qualifying special circumstances (i.e. military, pregnancy, documented illness, etc.) affecting their eligibility may appeal to DCCCD Promise with supporting documentation. The student will be notified by the Promise Program within five business days after a decision has been made regarding the appeal.

I signed the Pledge, but I plan on attending a non-partner college. What are my options through Promise?

The Dallas County Promise scholarship can only be used at participating Promise partner colleges and universities. Check out our Student Resources page for other potential scholarship opportunities.

If I sign the Pledge, am I required to attend DCCCD or a Promise partner college?

No. Completing a Promise Pledge provides the opportunity to attend a partner college with tuition gap funding, but the Pledge does not obligate a student to attend that college.

Does the Dallas County Promise expose my legal status if it offers me any resources?

No. Dallas County Promise staff will never share student information, including residency and citizenship status, with outside organizations or community members. Student information is shared with Promise partner colleges and universities that the student has indicated an interest in for the sole purpose of supporting student success.

In addition to school, I am also planning to work a full time job. Can I be a part time student or do I have to be full time each semester?

Each Promise partner college has credit hour requirements for Promise Scholars. Scholars attending a DCCCD College are not required to be full-time each semester, but must successfully complete at least 18 credit hours per academic year.

I am finishing my second year at DCCCD and plan on transferring to a 4-year Promise partner college. Do I have to submit a transfer application or does Dallas County Promise do that for me?

For transfer acceptance, Promise Scholars must submit a transfer student application and FAFSA/TASFA to the intended college or university during their final year at DCCCD. Each Promise partner college has transfer requirements to be eligible for continuing the Dallas County Promise scholarship. For more details on the transfer scholarship offers, visit the Promise Partner College page.

My child is the first person in our family to go to college and I am not familiar with the college process. What should I know/prepare for so that my child succeeds?

We understand the college enrollment process can be confusing, particularly for first-generation students and their families, but you are not alone! The Dallas County Promise team is here to help guide you through the scholarship process and requirements. Each high school has dedicated staff, such as a college advisor or graduation coach, to support their current students in exploring college, military, and workforce options after graduation. Each college also has dedicated staff in their admissions, financial aid, and other student services offices to support incoming students. Start exploring college and career options with your student, and reach out to us at Info@DallasCountyPromise.org anytime you have questions!

Why are there limited scholarships available with schools like Southern Methodist University?

The Dallas County Promise scholarship is funded directly by each Promise partner college and university. Each partner college and university defines their scholarship offer and selection criteria depending on the size of the institution and financial aid funds available

Funding

How does the last-dollar scholarship work?

Dallas County Promise is a last-dollar scholarship, which means it will cover the gap between what classes cost and what Pell grants and other federal and state grants cover. Therefore, students are required to submit their financial aid applications (FAFSA or TASFA) by March 6.

If I'm selected for verification, when do I need to complete that process?

Some students may also be asked to verify their FAFSA/TASFA information. If you are asked for verification, you must provide the necessary documentation to ensure timely funding. Funds will not be paid until the college determines that the verification process is complete.

If I miss any of the Dallas County Promise deadlines, can I still apply for Rising Star?

Seniors in Promise high schools must meet all three Promise deadlines to be considered for both Promise and Rising Star scholarships at DCCCD. Students in a Promise high school who miss the February 7 Promise Pledge deadline cannot receive a Promise or Rising Star scholarship at DCCCD.

Can I use my Dallas County Promise scholarship for developmental education classes?

Yes, developmental classes are covered by Dallas County Promise.

Does Dallas County Promise cover online classes and certificates?

Yes. And Dallas County Promise also counts for special awards, certificates and some continuing education courses.

How will the funds be administered?

Promise Scholars will never directly receive cash from Dallas County Promise. Once a Promise Scholar’s state and federal financial aid have been applied, the partner college will fund the gap with the dollars they’ve set aside for their Promise scholarships.

Does the Dallas County Promise make college completely free?

Even with the Dallas County Promise and/or Rising Star, there are other college costs you should budget for, including supplies, transportation, rent, and food.  If you receive federal or state financial aid or additional scholarships, you can use these dollars towards your overall costs. To estimate college costs for DCCCD click here.

How does Promise work with other outside scholarships?

It is possible to use other scholarship funds towards your overall costs as a Promise Scholar. However, there are scenarios where your outside scholarship would not be able to be used. Such as if the outside scholarship is designated to only be used towards the cost of tuition. Contact your intended college's financial aid office for further details.

Can I choose to take my classes entirely online at DCCCD and still be covered by the Promise scholarship?

Online classes that are included in a credit program or approved non-credit continuing education program are eligible for Promise gap funding. Some college programs require students to attend in-person courses. Check with the college admissions office for further details.

If my financial aid (Pell grant, Texas grant, etc.) covers my tuition and I don’t need Promise dollars, am I still considered a Promise Scholar?

Yes! If your federal and/or state financial aid fully covers your tuition costs, you will still receive the other benefits of being a Promise Scholar, including access to a Success Coach at the college you attend and transfer opportunities from DCCCD.

Success Coaches

How do I get a Success Coach and what do the Success Coaches do?

All Promise Scholars will be automatically assigned a Promise Success Coach after meeting the required Promise deadlines. Success coaches are there to support Promise Scholars in staying on top of deadlines, connecting to available services at the college and developing strategies to identify and overcome potential obstacles to college completion.

Who do I communicate with after I graduate high school and enroll at a Promise partner college?

Students who successfully complete requirements to be eligible for the Dallas County Promise scholarship program will be paired with a Success Coach, a dedicated college employee focused on student success from their intended college. Students may reach out to their Success Coach for support while entering or attending a Promise partner college, or they can reach out directly to the college admissions office, financial aid office or other student support services.