Donations total $1.2 million from the city, county and private sources.
By Sergio Medina
The Alamo Promise program, which will pay for tuition not covered by FAFSA, launched Oct. 3 and will cover graduating seniors from 25 high schools in Bexar County during its first year of implementation 2020-21.
Dr. Adelina Silva, vice chancellor for student success, and Stephanie Vasquez, program lead for Alamo Promise, talked about promise Oct. 3 in an informational session before an audience of about 100 in the Board Room at the district support operations center.
Twenty more high schools will be added to the program during its second year 2021-22.
Vasquez said promise is funded by public and private sources, so far totaling $1.2 million in donations.
She said donors include the city, Bexar County, Frost Bank, Toyota, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
The city also will allocate $1.4 million during the program’s first year, she said.
Silva said if a student applies for FAFSA but does not get approved, their tuition would still be covered by Alamo Promise.
“What if you’re a middle class family that barely does not qualify for financial aid? Then, Alamo Promise will pay the entire amount.”
CNBC reported in 2018 the minimum income to be considered middle class for a household of one in the U.S. is $26,093, for a family of four, $52.187.
Silva said students planning to take only online classes would still be benefited by Alamo Promise, as long as they are residents of the county.
The 25 schools covered translate to 9,952 graduating seniors.
An Alamo Colleges report projects about 30%, or about 3,000 seniors, will enroll in this district.
To apply, seniors in participating schools have to first “save their seat,” by filing a form to demonstrate their interest in the program, Silva said.
The form can be found at www.alamo.edu/promise/.
From there, students must file a FAFSA or a TAFSA application, complete an application for admissions through applytexas.org, and complete a career exploration camp during the summer.
The schools covered during the first year of promise were selected because of their low college-going rates.
Silva said district administration used reports from the Texas Education Agency to determine which schools to prioritize.
The school districts in the first year of Alamo Promise are:
East Central, Harlandale, Edgewood, Judson and Southside independent school districts.
The following school districts have only some high schools enrolled:
San Antonio Independent School District:
Fox Technical High School
Highlands High School
W. Brackenridge High School
Luther Burbank High School
Thomas Edison High School
Thomas Jefferson High School
Sam Houston High School
Sidney Lanier High School
Young Women’s Leadership Academy
North East Independent School District:
L.E.E. High School
Theodore Roosevelt High School
North Side Independent School District:
John Jay High School
Oliver Wendell Holmes High School
Southwest Independent School District:
Southwest Legacy High School
Southwest High School
Somerset Independent School District:
Somerset High School
South San Antonio Independent School District:
South San Antonio High School