Tarleton, Valley Mills work to help top high school grads attend college


Thursday, May 21, 2020

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — The Valley Mills Independent School District and Tarleton State University agreed Wednesday to a partnership to aid VMISD seniors in getting their college educations.

The Valley Mills ISD Board of Trustees and Tarleton leaders finalized an arrangement offering guaranteed admission and annual scholarships for the top 25 percent of the district’s high school graduates beginning with the 2020-21 academic year.

As part of the agreement, called the Distinguished High School Partnership, Tarleton also will waive ACT (American College Test) or SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) requirements for students in the top quarter of their class and application fees for students who qualify.

“We’re very excited to partner with Valley Mills ISD to ensure that some of the best and brightest students in Texas have the opportunity for a high-quality university experience,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “This partnership aligns with our commitment to become a first-choice institution for regional high school seniors. They are destined to be our leaders, and we have a social and economic responsibility to invest in their well-being.”

Tarleton is developing similar agreements with other school districts in the region.

“I feel this partnership between Tarleton State University and Valley Mills ISD is a win-win for both schools,” said VMISD board Vice President Jim Blackford. “Our partnership will provide a larger opportunity for more of our students to attend Tarleton.

“My wife, two sons and I are all graduates of both of these fine institutions, and I could not be more proud to support this partnership.”

Valley Mills Superintendent Mike Kelly sees the agreement as motivation for his students to pursue college educations and advanced degrees.

“As a product of the master’s and doctoral programs of Tarleton State University, I know that the university is full of incredible student-centered professors,” he said. “I have no doubt that Tarleton’s Distinguished High School Partnership will be phenomenal for the graduates of Valley Mills Independent School District.”

The Guaranteed Award Program (GAP) assures first-time-in-college students graduating in the top quarter of their high school class between $1,000 and $4,000 in scholarships. Students graduating from one of Tarleton’s Distinguished High School Partners will receive an additional $500 or $1,000. Admitted freshmen must submit a general scholarship application to determine eligibility.

For more information on GAP, go to www.tarletonstate.us/gap. To learn how to become a Tarleton Texan, visit www.tarleton.edu/becomeatexan/index.html.

Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven education marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. It offers degree programs to more than 13,000 students at Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, RELLIS Academic Alliance in Bryan, and online, emphasizing real-world learning experiences that address societal needs while maintaining its core values of tradition, integrity, civility, excellence, leadership and service.

Contact: Phil Riddle
[email protected]

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 15,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.