Hillcrest High Assistant Principal Derinda Hunter (left) and Principal Joseph Soleto (right) received awards for the school’s performance in the Dallas County Promise program. (Photo by Elliott Munoz.)

Hillcrest High School was recognized this week as one of the top performing high schools in the Dallas County Promise program, a partnership aimed at ensuring every high school graduate – regardless of GPA or financial status – attends college.

Hillcrest earned the award for top school with 265 seniors or fewer for enrollment performance and growth. Sixty-one percent of seniors were enrolled in college, marking a 12 percent enrollment growth. Hillcrest joined the program in 2018 and is one of 43 participating high schools.

Dallas County Promise partners with seven Dallas County Community College District colleges, UNT-Dallas, SMU, MSU Texas, Prairie View A&M University, Paul Quinn University and Austin College.

The program began in 2017 and recently reached 16,000 pledges from seniors in participating high schools, the Dallas Business Journal reported.

Dallas County Promise scholarships provide students with money that covers the balance of tuition not covered by state or federal financial aid programs. The scholarship covers three years of college or the completion of an Associate’s Degree – whichever comes first.

Students in the program, called Promise Scholars, will also be matched with a Success Coach who will serve as a mentor throughout their college careers.

Graduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher on a 4.0 scale are also eligible for the Rising Star Scholarship, which covers the cost of textbooks.

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