Column: Deadlines approach for first year of AlamoPROMISE

February 4, 2020

Dr. Robert Garza

Since its founding in 1985, Palo Alto College has continually fulfilled the promise of providing access to higher education for the south side community. Throughout the past 35 years, more than 150,000 students have earned a degree or certificate from our College.

Educational attainment is the biggest indicator of financial stability; as our community becomes more educated, our potential for economic development grows. However, finding funding to attend college can be an obstacle preventing people from pursuing higher education.

Through visionary leadership and with the support of great partners, AlamoPROMISE is a new initiative that seeks to eliminate the financial barrier of attending college for seniors graduating from 25 local high schools. These graduates will have the opportunity to attend any of the Alamo Colleges by providing last-dollar funding – meaning it covers the gap between financial aid and the cost of tuition – for up to three years.

Trend data suggests that neighboring communities within southern sectors of San Antonio and Bexar County tend to have lower income levels and lower rates of educational attainment, which means the potential impact of AlamoPROMISE for our community is vast. Of the 25 high schools participating in phase one of AlamoPROMISE, 11 are in the Palo Alto College service area.

The deadline to take advantage of AlamoPROMISE is quickly approaching. Graduating seniors from participating high schools must complete the three eligibility steps by Friday, Feb. 14.

Students must complete the "Save Your Seat" interest form at alamo.edu/promise. The student must also apply for admission to Palo Alto College or any of the Alamo Colleges District colleges at applytexas.org. Finally, the student must file for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).

To help students complete these three steps, Palo Alto College is hosting an AlamoPROMISE workshop on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The workshop will take place in the Palomino Center on our campus at 1400 W. Villaret Boulevard, San Antonio, TX 78224. To learn more about AlamoPROMISE, visit alamo.edu/promise.

This column by Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College, was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News' Southside Reporter and mysanantonio.com.