The University of Texas at Arlington, the state’s sixth-largest institution of higher learning and one of its most diverse, draws students from every state in the country and from 123 nations.
With a deal announced this week between UT Arlington and the Arlington school district, the university is likely to attract a lot more students from its own hometown.
Faced with the results of a school district survey that showed 20 percent of Arlington’s graduating seniors (and 27 percent of Hispanics) did not apply for college, AISD Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos and UT Arlington President Vistasp Karbhari came up with a plan to address the issue.
They created the Bound for Success initiative, which provides that the top 20 percent of Arlington high school students will have access to the university. Already about 1,500 Arlington juniors have received acceptance letters from UT Arlington.
But the program includes a lot more than just identifying the top academic students. Admissions counselors from the university will go to each high school campus every week to help prepare them for college.
Students also will receive financial aid counseling and be invited to the UTA campus for special events.
Many of the youngsters, through dual enrollment and online courses, will be able to receive college credit while they are in high school.
That in itself is an attractive incentive.
This is a winning move for the university, the school district and especially the students, some of whom never considered going to college or viewed it as an unattainable goal.
For UT Arlington, the second-largest and one of the fastest-growing schools in the University of Texas System, the new partnership almost assures another stream of students who either wouldn’t have applied for college at all or would have sought acceptance at another institution.
The university, as it has grown in enrollment, campus size and academic offerings, has made tremendous strides in its ability and willingness to partner with others, including the city of Arlington, Tarrant County College and now AISD.
There is a good chance that the Bound for Success program will be extended to other school districts in the area, officials say.
More of a good thing.