Taking the Promise Pledge

Feb 26, 2021Andrea Vasquez
Promise 2021

Senior year of high school can be an emotional roller coaster, full of highs and lows.

Azhia Alvarez worried if her dreams of going to college would be financially possible. Gustavo Almazan decided he would join the military right after graduation so he could eventually pay for college. Tatyana Johnson had been applying to different universities but wasn't receiving the acceptance letters she'd hoped for.

Each to their unknown, the prospect of being college students was inching further away. That is, until four words changed everything: Harris County Promise Program.

In partnership with San Jacinto College, Pasadena ISD, and Good Reason Houston, the Harris County Promise program was established to advance degree and certificate completion and to create a college-going culture among underrepresented high school students. High school graduates from Sam Rayburn, South Houston, and Dobie high schools are eligible to receive up to three years of guaranteed tuition and additional assistance upon taking the Promise Pledge and becoming Harris County Promise Scholars. Other participating Houston-area school districts include Aldine ISD (Aldine Senior, Eisenhower, and Nimitz high schools) and Alief ISD (Taylor High School) with partnerships with Lone Star College and Houston Community College respectively.

"Being a first-generation college student, Promise is allowing me to be the first person in my family to attend college," said Alvarez.

Dr. Allatia Harris, San Jacinto College vice chancellor of strategic initiatives, says the Promise program allows students to realize that college is attainable for everyone.

"We wanted to reach deeper into these communities to give hope to all students to show them that college is an option," said Harris. "Education after high school is critical to their success to earn and provide for their families. The Promise program tells these students that they are all welcome and all eligible."

Here are the steps for current high school seniors who are interested in becoming Promise Scholars at San Jacinto College for the fall 2021 semester:

  1. Take the Promise Pledge:
    Complete and submit the Promise Pledge by Friday, Feb. 5, 2021 through your high school counselor. This is the first important step to becoming a Promise Scholar. Completing all steps by the deadlines enables Promise Scholars to receive gap funding to cover the cost of tuition, books, and additional needs.
  2. Apply to San Jacinto College:
    Fill out and submit the free admissions application to San Jacinto College by Friday, March 5, 2021 at ApplyTexas.org.
  3. Submit the FAFSA or TASFA for financial aid:
    Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA) by Friday, April 9, 2021. The FAFSA code for San Jacinto College is 003609. For more information on completing the FAFSA or TASFA, visit sanjac.edu/financial-aid.
  4. Enroll at San Jacinto College:
    Complete all of San Jacinto College's "Steps to Enroll" — including financial aid verification, submitting a final high school transcript, and registering for fall classes by Friday, July 16, 2021.

Updated fall 2023: Get more information about or complete the required steps for the Promise @ San Jac Scholarship (formerly Harris County Promise program at San Jac) or email promise@sjcd.edu.

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