Rising Star Program Transfer Scholarship facilitates the next step in a student's educational journey. Rising Star is a program that offers financial assistance and access to a college education in the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) to eligible high school seniors in Dallas County. The program provides a scholarship of up to $4,000 for tuition and books for a maximum of three years to Dallas County public high school seniors who 1) graduate with a "B" average or pass the required college assessment test and 2) show economic need. This financial support facilitates the transition for students leaving the community college environment to a four-year institution. The program provides tutoring, mentoring and opportunities for students to socialize and share experiences in the Rising Star clubs on campus.
The Rising Star Program at DCCCD has worked with local partnering universities to ensure qualified students can continue their education by offering these transfer scholarships. Students in the program who decide to transfer to a participating four-year college or university, after first meeting the "core complete" requirements and/or receiving an associate degree from DCCCD, may apply for these transfer scholarships. The district director must approve all students for transfer, and students receive funding supplied by the four-year institution. These scholarships allow students to apply for and potentially receive funding without competing against an entire incoming college class, as they are limited to applicants who initially come through the DCCCD Rising Star program.
In fall 2007, the Rising Star Program Transfer Scholarship received 70 applications. Fifty-four percent (54%) of the applicants were accepted into four-year institutions. The number of students -- who are the first in their families to go to college, immigrants, and/or members of ethnic minorities -- receiving these transfer scholarships continues to increase each year. The total cost per student ($4,000) ensures a community college education for the student and an increase in retention rates for the Rising Star Program and the district.
This program was recognized as an Honorable Mention for making innovative and/or significant improvement in increasing Latino student success.