The GTF Scholars program was the first of its kind in Texas, designed in 2012 to help ECHS students thrive in college and earn a bachelor’s degree at a lower cost and with less debt. Because of the unequivocal success of the program, Greater Texas Foundation has approved $12 million in new funding for GTF Scholars over the next eight years.
Since inception, the foundation has committed $25 million in grants to help ECHS students attending its partner institutions.
“This program is truly emblematic of our mission of college access and student success. We’ve had many wonderful partners over the years, and we are thankful for all the universities who have been part of this signature program and who served as “incubators” regarding how best to serve Texas ECHS graduates with high quality, personalized services.”
– Sue McMillin, President and CEO
A Model that Works
The successful model, refined over the years and adapted for each participating campus, consists of a cohort of scholars, a program coordinator at each university, wraparound support services, and scholarship funding. Outside evaluators have measured and documented the success of the program, confirming that GTF Scholars have significantly better outcomes in persistence, graduation and loan debt than other ECHS graduates.
In addition, participating students report high levels of satisfaction and engagement thanks to the program.
“The GTF Scholars program has been a huge factor in my success. There is lots of support—social, financial, stress relief. And I’m part of a cohort of ECHS graduates with a college mindset. It’s a community.” – Jacob Willson, GTF Scholar