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Parent Promise FAQs

Statement on Why Parent Promise High Schools Were Selected

The inaugural Parent Promise cohort was chosen as a result of their participation with the Rising Sons initiative at Cedar Valley College and their proactive approach to provide educational opportunities for the parents of their students.

The second cohort was strategically selected with a desire to impact economically disadvantaged areas with low post-secondary degree attainment.

Who is eligible for Dallas Parent Promise?

If your family income is less than $55,000 a year and you are the parent or guardian of a 2019 high school senior at one of the participating Parent Promise schools, you can earn a “last-dollar” scholarship to any Dallas county community college.

  • Carter High School (Dallas ISD)
  • Grand Prairie High School & Early College High School (Grand Prairie ISD)
  • South Grand Prairie High School & Early College High School (Grand Prairie ISD)
  • Desoto High School & Early College High School (Desoto ISD)
  • Cedar Hill High School (Cedar Hill ISD)
  • Cedar Hill Collegiate HIgh School  & Collegiate Academy (Cedar Hill ISD)
  • Wilmer-Hutchins High School (Dallas ISD)
  • Lancaster High School (Lancaster ISD)

Assigned guardians include, but are not limited to, a biological parent, foster parent, step-parent, older sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle who has primary guardianship of the eligible Dallas County Promise Scholar. The eligible student must reside in the household with the guardian for their Parent Promise eligibility to be applied. Parent Promise program eligibility is limited to one guardian per Dallas County Promise Scholar.

How long do I have to complete my degree or certificate at DCCCD under the Parent Promise funding?

Parent Promise will provide a “last dollar” scholarship for an individual for a five-year period. The five-year clock begins for a Parent Promise participant the first day of the first semester he/she utilizes Parent Promise funding.

How do I know if I meet the $55,000 or less household requirement?

Check your 2017 tax return for your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).

How long do I have to take advantage of Parent Promise?

In order to take advantage of the Dallas County Parent Promise scholarship, you must start classes in Fall 2019.

I am not a US citizen. Can I receive the Dallas County Parent Promise?

Yes, as long as you qualify for in-state tuition. Parents who can complete a FAFSA or TASFA application are eligible for the Dallas County Parent Promise. Remember that 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 parents eligible for the Dallas County Parent Promise?

Yes, parents of 2019 seniors from participating high schools who meet all the Promise deadlines will receive the Dallas County Parent Promise. Parents will first enter WorkReadyU, which is a completely free adult-education program at DCCCD schools that will prepare English language learners the skills needed for college and career success.

Does Dallas County Parent Promise have a GPA requirement?

Dallas County Parent Promise does not have a GPA requirement, but if you already have college credits, you must be in good standing with that institution.

Does Dallas County Parent 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 Parent Promise can be used to cover the cost of developmental courses. Learn more about TSI requirements.

What if I do not have a GED yet?

WorkReadyU is a completely free adult-education program at DCCCD schools that will teach you the skills you need for college and career success, including GED preparation. (You will be responsible for the GED test cost of $133.)

Is there a limit on the number of parents who can receive the Dallas County Parent Promise?

No, although only one parent or guardian per Promise Scholar/high school senior is eligible.

What if I have a criminal record?

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

How many hours of classes may I take per year under Promise?

Each Parent Promise participant must successfully complete at least 12 hours each academic calendar year (ex. 2018-19 school year). The hours can be completed in fall, spring or summer of the given academic calendar year.  You may not take more than 36 credit hours a year.

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

To be eligible, your high school senior must have attended a participating Promise high school for their full senior year. Additionally, you must qualify for Texas in-state tuition.

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

To continue to receive the Dallas County Parent Promise Scholarship, you must successfully completeat least 12 hours over the course of the year, maintain a 2.0 GPA, and complete your FAFSA/TASFA. In addition, you must stay enrolled in an approved Parent Promise academic program/guided pathway.

How were these Academic Programs chosen?

Each program was selected based on their starting wage or salary, projected industry growth, annual job openings, and career-pathway opportunities through WorkReadyU and the seven colleges of DCCCD.

More about the Dallas County Parent Promise

What Academic Programs are offered by the Parent Promise?

View the list of awards.

How were these Academic Programs chosen?

Each program was selected based on their starting wage or salary, projected industry growth, annual job openings, and career-pathway opportunities through WorkReadyU and the seven colleges of DCCCD.

What is the difference between Certificates and Degrees?

Certificates and degrees differ in the amount of time and credits required to complete, and they are suitable for specific fields or career goals.

Certificate programs typically take less time because general-education courses are not required; instead you complete a series of courses in a particular subject. Students often earn certificates to get a step ahead in the professional field of their interest, and students may earn certificates while enrolled in programs that lead to degrees.

Degree programs require the student to take general-education courses—such as English, math, science, history, etc.—for a more rounded education.

What if I already have some college hours?

Previous college can give you a jump start on completing a certificate program or an associate degree.

What if I already have an associate degree?

With a Parent Promise scholarship you can enhance your skills through a certificate program, making yourself more marketable to your current or future employer.

Does Dallas County Parent Promise cover online classes and certificates?

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

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

Yes, developmental classes are covered under the Parent Promise.

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

Dallas County Parent Promise 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.

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

Promise Parents who meet the March 8, 2019 deadline will be automatically assigned a Promise Success Coach. Success coaches are there to support Promise Parents 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.

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

This first year, we are launching the Parent Promise with only the previously listed high schools. Take a look at the list of DCCCD Scholarships for possible alternatives.

How were the Parent Promise High Schools selected?

Five of the participating Parent Promise high schools were selected based on their current affiliation with the Cedar Valley College Rising Sons Initiative, which has a strong parent-education component. The remaining two high schools within Grand Prairie ISD were included shortly after GPISD administrators approached DCCCD Foundation and Commit! leaders about starting a pilot program that would engage their district’s parents with the Dallas County Promise. Out of numerous conversations, the Dallas County Parent Promise was born.

This Dallas County Parent Promise is made available thanks to an unprecedented financial commitment from private supporters to the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Foundation’s LevelUp scholarship.

Parent Promise Funding

How does the last-dollar scholarship work?

Dallas County Parent 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 8, 2019.

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. Verification is strongly recommended  to be completed by July 31, 2018. Take a look at the Promise Verification Instructions.

How will the funds be administered?

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

Does the Dallas County Parent Promise make college completely free?

Even with the Dallas County Parent Promise, 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 estimated college costs for DCCCD click here.

Have a question that is not on the list? Please contact the Dallas County Parent Promise team at parentpromise@dcccd.edu.