The recently-launched Dallas County Promise is a scholarship program offered by the Dallas County Community College District Foundation. All students who are seniors at participating Dallas County high schools who meet the Promise deadlines will receive sufficient funding to pay the full cost of tuition for up to three years or degree completion at any DCCCD college. From there, Promise students may transfer to UNT Dallas – UNT Dallas was the first four-year university to join the Promise by offering to match the tuition-free guarantee for Dallas County students who attend participating high schools.

Full details about the Dallas County Promise can be found at www.dallascountypromise.org  

UNT Dallas President Bob Mong answers questions about the Dallas County Promise below.

Q: Who reached out to who for UNTD’s involvement  the program or the university?
Mong: I believe all area universities were invited to participate in planning for the Promise.We jumped at the opportunity because a large percentage of our students come to us from the Dallas County Community College District. We invested in phases 1 and 2 of the Promise, because it's an investment in our community's future.

Q: Why did UNTD want to get involved with this project?
Mong: Our geographic recruiting area is urban Dallas, the inner ring suburbs and portions of Kaufman, Ellis and Tarrant counties, so this participation made sense to us. Other area universities work with multiple community colleges, but we are largely focused on students coming to UNT Dallas from DCCCD institutions.

Q: How will this affect UNT Dallas – specifically admissions?
Mong: How will it affect admissions? We don’t know. But we have grown enrollment 40 percent in the last two years, along with increased retention and graduation rates, so were are growing regardless. Our growth aside, we felt getting involved with Dallas County Promise was the right thing to do. The problem of college completion in Dallas County is just too big for any one institution to address alone. This has to be a community effort.

Q: What are UNTD's hopes for their involvement in this program?
Mong: Our hope is for more Dallas County students to go beyond simply getting a high school diploma, regardless of where they go to school. Just go somewhere. This Promise program is patterned after the Tennessee Promise which has dramatically increased college participation rates in Tennessee. We believe the same will occur in Dallas County. This is also closely aligned with the state’s 60/30 program, which hopes to increase to 60 percent the numbers of 25-34 year olds who have credentials, associate degrees or bachelor degrees by 2030. So this is a big deal in Texas and a huge opportunity for students in Dallas County. UNT Dallas has invested much time and effort in helping develop the Promise and we are excited to work with students that come through the program.