Amarillo ISD trustees approve new scholarship program

Amarillo ISD trustees have approved the District’s partnership in a scholarship program that gives students of all four AISD high schools, and potentially students from anywhere in the Panhandle who wish to transfer, the opportunity to attend Amarillo College and earn up to 60 credit hours at no cost to them after they graduate from AISD. 

After a transition phase, the Thrive Scholarship will replace what was known as the ACE Scholarship.

Under the new agreement, AISD will partner with Amarillo College, the Amarillo Area Foundation and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation to bring the Thrive Scholarship to the Amarillo community. The School Board has been working collectively with the partners and district administrators for the last year to negotiate AISD’s participation.

Currently, ACE is available to students at Palo Duro High School, Caprock High School and part of the Tascosa High School feeder system who sign the ACE Scholarship pledge and meet its commitments. With the Thrive Scholarship, students who graduate from any AISD high school can earn tuition, fees and book expenses for up to 60 hours of college credit at Amarillo College if they meet the Thrive Scholarship requirements.

“With Thrive, we’re providing our scholars a valuable incentive to go to school every day, to work toward academic achievement and to develop their character as learners and leaders,” said Superintendent Dr. Dana West. “All of those qualities are critical for success beyond high school.”

To qualify for the upcoming school years, graduating scholars must meet enrollment, attendance and behavior requirements and earn a final GPA of 80 or higher or meet TSI college readiness standards in reading, writing and math. For the Class of 2021 and beyond, the academic piece of eligibility moves solely to TSI standards.  Once they graduate from AISD, Thrive scholars must enroll in AC for the upcoming semester and have up to three years to earn 60 credit hours. 

Thrive will continue to include a “last money in” provision, meaning all other scholarships earned by a student, as well as federal and state financial aid, will be applied prior to awarding Thrive funds. Previous ACE program graduates, 2018 class of ACE grads and ACE eligible grads in 2019 and 2020 will be able to continue with their ACE scholarship.

To be Thrive eligible, students who live within the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle must transfer into Amarillo ISD their freshman year, attend and graduate from an AISD high school. There is no cost to transfer into AISD from other school districts or from private schools, charter schools or homeschool. Transfer requests are currently being accepted for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year.

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