Thirty-four high school juniors from across East Texas will help make up the first student body to accept the benefits of a new scholarship program created by a partnership between Tyler Junior College (TJC) and AT&T.  Students attending high schools where TJC is offering dual-credit classes can earn no-cost college credit providing they meet financial needs criteria.
Qualifying students can receive tuition and assorted fees for as much as six hours during the next summer terms.  Eligible students are those with proof of financial need and with endorsements for college course work from their high schools.
AT&T established its Scholars Program when its AT&T Foundation presented TJC with a $25,000 gift.  The college and the corporation cooperate in providing a $50,000 fund for tuition and fee assistance for eligible high school juniors and seniors.  TJC President Dr.Mike Metke explained how the initiative came about.
“When AT&T approached us with the prospect of a grant and asked us how it could benefit our students the most, we immediately responded it would be through dual credit,” he said.
He elaborated further.
“Dual credit provides a great advantage for students by allowing them to complete college-level course work before graduating high school,” he said.  “Unfortunately, many of the students who would benefit from gaining college course work while in high school are from families with limited income, and cannot afford to pay the TJC tuition and fees.”
State Senator Kevin Eltife advised AT&T Director of External Affairs Candice Gast to seek the grant from AT&T.
“Senator Eltife is to be commended for encouraging Candice to seek this grant through AT&T,” said Metke.  “Kevin has long been a great friend of ours, and when he learned of the opportunity for the grant he immediately thought of TJC.”
“We’re honored to support TJC and the great work they do for our community,” said Gast.  “This gift also compliments our ongoing efforts to help more students graduate from high school and go on to college so that they can be successful in life and in the workforce.”