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SAISD announces Achieve @ Austin College program
Oct. 22, 2020 – San Antonio ISD students interested in attending a residential liberal arts college have an opportunity to Achieve @ Austin College. The college, which is located in Sherman, Texas, is SAISD’s original partner in a District initiative to increase college enrollment and completion at high-caliber institutions where they will receive the support they need to achieve a degree. At the District’s Oct. 19 Board meeting, Trustees approved continuing its relationship with Austin College for another five years.

Austin College, with its 97% college graduation rate and a Finish in Four Guarantee, has been a college partner with SAISD for the past four years. The continuing relationship offers the opportunity to double the number of students accepted each year through the Achieve @ Austin College program – from six to 12. 

The college also commits to covering 80% of SAISD’s students’ needs regardless of income level.

SAISD graduates who choose to Achieve @ Austin College will be offered a flat-price structure so that they know how much the cost of their attendance will be for all four years they attend Austin College, regardless of economic factors that could raise Austin College’s tuition. Additionally, the college promises that any full-time student who meets the finish-in-four requirements will graduate on time. If not, Austin College will waive the tuition costs for any extra courses needed to complete a degree.

“All college students at Austin College have the Finish in Four Guarantee, but only SAISD graduates are offered the flat-price structure,” said Dr. Eduardo Sesatty, SAISD’s director of postsecondary initiatives. “Both benefits, which eliminate surprises, give our students extra peace of mind around cost commitments during the course of earning their degree. While these are important considerations for all college students, they are of special concern for our students – especially during these uncertain times.”

SAISD alumna Katrina Munoz is a current third-year student at Austin College, where she has found a home away from home. The Sam Houston High School Class of 2018 graduate is now majoring in English and double minoring in Communications and Education at the institution where she is enjoying being a part of learning communities and mentoring programs. She recently wrote a welcome letter to other Sam Houston students who headed to Sherman, Texas this fall.

“Austin College has become a home for me,” Munoz wrote to the students. “Austin College is such a friendly and positive environment. I promise, you will all build really great friendships here!”

Program representatives will mirror Munoz’s enthusiasm by promoting the partnership to SAISD families, high school counselors, advisors and administrators; and help inform SAISD students and their families about the value of an Austin College education. 

SAISD’s Department of Postsecondary Initiatives seeks to build a network of college partners that supports the District’s students, many who are the first in their families to attend college. SAISD announced the launch of a similar partnership with Trinity University last month, and the District also has comparable partnerships with UTSA and the University of Houston-Victoria. 

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