Frequently Asked Questions

Thanks for your interest in the Dallas County Promise! Have a question not on the list? Reach out to the Dallas County Promise team at info@DallasCountyPromise.org

DALLAS COUNTY PROMISE BENEFITS AND DETAILS ⌄

What is the Dallas County Promise?

Thanks to an unprecedented financial commitment from the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Foundation, all seniors – regardless of GPA or family income – at 31 Promise high schools will have the opportunity to earn a full-tuition scholarship, a Success Coach mentor, and access to additional transfer scholarships to attend partner four-year universities including SMU and UNT-Dallas.

What does the Dallas County Promise scholarship cover?

Dallas County Promise scholarship covers the cost of tuition at any Dallas County Community College for up to three years or the completion of an associate degree (whichever comes first). Promise Scholars will also be matched with a Success Coach who will serve as a mentor to help students beginning at the end of their senior year through college completion.

Promise Scholars who also meet income requirements and have a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher (75 or better on a 100-point 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.

Please note, seniors in a Promise high school must complete all three Promise deadlines including completing the Promise Pledge by January 31 to be eligible for both Promise and Rising Star. 

Which colleges are Dallas County Promise transfer partners?

UNT-Dallas is providing ALL Dallas County Promise students an opportunity to continue their Promise scholarship of free tuition through the completion of a bachelor’s degree at UNT Dallas. Students should list UNT-Dallas on their FAFSA/TASFA and also complete a UNT-Dallas admissions application as a senior.

SMU is providing select Dallas County Promise students a merit and need based scholarship opportunity to continue their Promise scholarship of free tuition through the completion of a bachelor’s degree at SMU.

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

Dallas County Promise and Rising Star scholarships can only be used at one of the seven Dallas County Community Colleges; however, completing the Promise Pledge does not commit you to attending a DCCCD college.

Transfer scholarships are available to UNT-Dallas and SMU, with more universities coming on board soon. Students that complete an associate degree in high school may be eligible to use their Dallas County Promise tuition scholarships at UNT-Dallas and SMU 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 applications open October 2 and are due March 15 for non-participating Promise high schools.

How were the 2017-18 Promise High Schools selected?

The 31 Dallas County Promise High Schools were invited because of their existing relationships with DCCCD. Invited campuses are either a (1) TEA-approved 2017-18 Early College High School that is co-sponsored by a DCCCD College or (2) be a co-sponsor with a DCCCD College of a collegiate academy that has produced graduates with a degree from a DCCCD college by Spring 2017.

 For example, South Oak Cliff HS is part of cohort one because it shares a campus with the SOC Collegiate Academy that is now a TEA-approved ECHS. For more information on being part of future cohorts, contact Eric.Ban@DallasCountyPromise.org

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA ⌄

Who is eligible?

All 2018 seniors who have attended a participating high school for their full senior year can receive the Dallas County Promise by meeting the three Promise deadlines. There are no income or GPA requirements (or essays!) to receive free tuition. 

Remember, if you do not complete the Dallas County Promise deadlines, but still choose to attend a Dallas County Community College, you will be responsible for all tuition and costs not covered by other scholarships or financial aid.

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

Are ESL students eligible for the Dallas County Promise?

Yes – all 2018 seniors from participating high schools that meet all three Promise deadlines will receive the Dallas County Promise.  

Does Dallas County Promise have a GPA requirement?

Dallas County Promise does not have a GPA requirement. However, Promise Scholars who meet all Promise deadlines and have financial need and have a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher (75 or better on a 100-point scale) will also receive the Rising Star Scholarship to cover the cost of textbooks. 

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 that 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?

No – all 2018 seniors from participating high schools that meet all three Promise deadlines will receive the Dallas County Promise.

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 Pell eligibility.

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

Yes, students can not take any more than 36 credit hours a year (Fall, Spring and Summer).

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

To be eligible, students must have attended a participating Promise high school for their full senior year.

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

Students can receive Dallas County Promise to complete the balance of hours needed for an associate degree (or up to three years or degree completion). Students that finish an associate degree in high school are eligible for tuition scholarship to UNT-Dallas. Students must complete all Promise steps by December 1st of their senior year: Promise Pledge, UNT-Dallas admissions application through applytx.org and list UNT-Dallas on their FAFSA/TASFA. 

PROCESS AND TIMELINE ⌄

How do I apply?

To receive the Dallas County Promise, 2018 seniors must meet three key deadlines:

January 31: Complete the Dallas County Promise Pledge

March 15:  Complete DCCCD admissions application and submit FAFSA or TASFA with a DCCCD college listed

July 31: Complete DCCCD registration for the Fall semester

Please note, seniors in a Promise high school must complete the Promise Pledge by January 31 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?

Dallas County Promise Pledge is due by January 31. 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.

How long do I have to take advantage of Promise?

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 Sarah.Jensen@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 college?

To continue to receive the Dallas County Promise Scholarship, each year scholars must take at least 18 hours over the course of the year, maintain a 2.0 GPA, and complete their FAFSA/TASFA.

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.

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 15. 

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 allow your college to complete verification to ensure timely receipt of funds. Funds will not be paid until the verification process is completed as determined by the college. Verification needs to be completed by July 31, 2018.

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. Students in a Promise high school that miss the January 31 Promise Pledge deadline cannot receive a Promise or Rising Star scholarship.

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

Yes. Dallas County Promise will cover developmental classes if a student should need to take them.

Does Dallas County Promise cover online classes and certificates?

Yes, to both! Dallas County Promise will also count 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 scholarship.

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 see estimate college costs for DCCCD click here

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 January and March deadlines. Success coaches are there to support Promise Scholars to stay on top of deadlines, connect to available services at the college, and develop strategies to identify and overcome potential obstacles to college completion.