College, for many, can be pricey. With that being said, TJC has partnered with local high schools to alleviate the pressure of tuition and costs for future Apaches by offering the TJC Promise Scholarship. 

According to tjc.edu, “The TJC Promise Program is a six-year, comprehensive program that spans from 9th grade through the first two years of college.” The Promise program starts when a student signs up for their freshman year in high school. Eligibility officially begins in their second semester. When a student signs up for the Promise program, they are, in essence, signing a pledge and promise to meet “set-up requirements based on academic achievement, persistence and community service.” 

The Promise requirements must be met throughout the duration of high school, which in turn, will need to be achieved throughout college, as well. By meeting the requirements, tuition and most fees are covered by the scholarship. Augusta Robinson, success coach for the TJC Promise Program, explains the main goal for students within the program. 

“We want them to be successful; we know that they’re great students throughout high school in order to meet our requirements. But once they get here, we want them to be successful here and beyond,” Robinson said. 

This opportunity leaves many students alleviated from the stress of having to pay tuition. 

“So because of the TJC scholarship that I’m receiving, it’s two years free tuition, which means that I’ll basically be able to not have to worry about paying tuition, which is like a big-money chunk for me,” incoming freshman Keren Vazquez said.

The TJC, Annual Cost Comparison chart, lists In-district tuition including room and board fees at $10,262. Out-of-district tuition, including room and board, is listed as $12,062.  Comparatively, the minimum wage rate for the state of Texas is $7.25 per hour. After calculating the yearly income for an average college student making minimum wage working 40/hrs a week the annual income estimate is $15,080. According to the Georgetown report “For the past 25 years, more than 70 % of college students have been taking time from their studies to earn a paycheck.” 

With the TJC Promise Scholarship, students can focus on paying other things. Vazquez discusses how with the scholarship she is able to focus on other financial needs. “I can start focusing on paying other things, such as rent or car insurance. And just focusing on things like books and small things that I need.” Vazquez states. 

However, the students getting this scholarship receive much more than the basic tuition payment agreement. 

“As a success coach, I would say that the program impacts students really from a standpoint of we want students to not only be able to attend TJC and not have to worry as much about the costs related to them gaining their education, but also we want to help them with really a variety of things,” Robinson said. 

Some students have said this scholarship is a stress reliever, thus opening more opportunities for them. 

“Being a student who has received the TJC promise, I can say that it has dramatically helped my financial situation while in college. Before knowing that I was going to be able to receive this scholarship, I was very concerned about how I was going to be able to pay for my college.” Sophomore Ashlee Pate said.

Matthew Ramirez, director of Student Success and TJC Promise Program, said there are 5,281 students currently in the Promise Program and more than 500 are registered for TJC’s fall semester. The first class of the TJC Promise, “benefited from approximately $300,000 in scholarship funding each semester,” Ramirez said.

 “With the TJC promise, a lot of the stress was relieved. My tuition was paid, and I was able to focus more on school and less on how I was going to pay for my school. Along with this, this meant that I didn’t have to work a full-time job while in college and that gave me more time to focus on my studies,” Pate said. 

Another focus for this scholarship is student academic success. Success coaches hope to provide the students with extra benefits including, creating resumes, applying for job interviews, applying for transfer scholarships and more. The goal of the TJC Promise Program is that students remain successful throughout their academic career and maintain high standards. Robinson said success coaches work with students to, “continue to really press ahead and just build on success so they accomplish their goals.”

The districts eligible for The Promise Scholarship are Chapel Hill, Grand Saline, Lindale, Tyler, Van and Winona. Minola was also recently added according to Ramirez. 

The following private schools are also eligible for the TJC Promise: All Saints Episcopal School, Bishop TK Gorman, The Brook Hill School, Christian Heritage School, Cumberland Academy High School, East Texas Christian Academy, (now closed), Good Shepherd School, Grace Community School, King’s Academy Christian School and Tyler Classical Academy. This information can be found at

“The TJC promise has definitely been a great help for me and I couldn’t have asked for anything better to help me in my financial situation throughout college,” Pate said.