The University of Texas at Austin and Education is Freedom Partner to Support Underserved High School Students

The University of Texas at Austin and the Dallas-based organization, Education is Freedom (EIF), are collaborating on a pilot program in the Dallas Independent School District that will provide a pathway to the university for high school students who have been historically underserved but are high achievers.

The university's outreach center, UT Outreach -- Dallas, and EIF are developing a program in seven high schools: David W. Carter, Lincoln, North Dallas, Roosevelt, A. Maceo Smith, Skyline and Sunset. The program, Longhorn Pre-College Academy (LPCA), is designed to support students who might not otherwise consider the university as an option, and provide them with experiences that build a stronger connection to the university.

LPCA will offer students access to academic enrichment programs and services and college awareness workshops. At the conclusion of their junior year, students eligible for admission to The University of Texas at Austin will have the opportunity to compete for about 46 scholarships to the university. University President William Powers Jr. has earmarked $3 million for the scholarships over a three-year period.

To be eligible for participation in LPCA, students must be first-generation college students and have obtained honor roll status. They must remain on the honor roll every semester throughout their participation in the program. During the first year of the pilot program, students at every high school grade level will be recruited. After the initial year, only ninth grade students will be eligible for participation.

"This innovative partnership between the university and Education is Freedom," said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement, "will give motivated first-generation students access to a range of support and resources they normally would not have. It is another example of how The University of Texas at Austin is committed to serving underrepresented students and to serving all of the people in the state of Texas."

Dr. Vincent added that the program would not be a reality without the "generous support of the Office of the President and the Office of Student Financial Services."

EIF is a nonprofit organization that was founded on the belief that every young person deserves the opportunity for a college education. EIF provides students with a comprehensive school-based program that focuses on academic standards, including personal guidance, professional development, SAT/ACT and college preparation, mentoring, scholarship assistance and academic achievement incentives.

UT Outreach -- Dallas is one of five University of Texas at Austin centers that helps create a college-going atmosphere in underserved schools, helping students to prepare for college attendance. The outreach centers are part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.