Whether a student is considering upgrading their skills or just starting out on a new career path, higher education is a great avenue to prepare for a high-paying job in the vibrant Texas economy.
Home to 13 million workers — the nation’s second largest workforce — one of the state’s top priorities is to make sure this workforce is well trained.
This is why educational and technical training programs are an important component of the Texas landscape, especially for the aviation, automotive, and manufacturing industries.
A skilled workforce is key to the long-term success of the manufacturing industry, but with tuition continually rising, receiving a higher education is out of the question for many people. Fortunately, there is no shortage of scholarship programs offered at North Texas colleges to help students offset the cost.
Here is a small sampling of North Texas colleges with scholarships, grants, and financial aid options:
↠ Texas State Technical College
Opened in 2014, Texas State Technical College North Texas (TSTC) is one of 10 campuses throughout the state. TSTC provides students the opportunity to become skilled in careers including computer networking, cybersecurity, diesel equipment technology, electrical power and controls, logistics technology, welding, and more.
Notably, TSTC is the only state-funded technical college system in Texas, and its funding is tied to student performance in the workplace. Essentially, the TSTC system’s state funding is based on graduates’ average earnings above minimum wage and the system’s economic value to the state.
Further, the college system is so confident in its students’ job placement rates that it offers a money-back guarantee if students do not find a job within six months of graduation. TSTC also works with employers to provide customized training in the workplace, usually with financing through Texas’ Skills Development Fund.
The college also offers several great scholarship opportunities, including:
The Midlothian Workforce/Careers Scholarship Fund — In partnership with local industry, Midlothian Economic Development is providing funds to The TSTC Foundation’s Texan Success Scholarship. Graduates of MISD and residents of Midlothian are eligible for these $1,000 scholarships.
The TSTC Foundation’s Texan Success Scholarship is also an “open fund” capable of receiving additional contributions from any person or organization. Industry partners are encouraged to contribute to the fund to help local students advance their education and increase the community’s pipeline of skilled workforce.
SkillsUSA Scholarship — Available to SkillsUSA competitors who were awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals in Texas. Applicants must maintain a 2.5 GPA, be actively involved in a TSTC SkillsUSA club, compete in recruited contest area, and help recruit for SkillsUSA programs. Students are awarded between $250 and $1,000 every semester at TSTC for up to six semesters.
Texas Farm Bureau Scholarship — If students or their immediate family are members of the Texas Farm Bureau, they are eligible to receive a scholarship to attend TSTC. This scholarship is only for students new to TSTC not previously enrolled.
For more scholarship opportunities, visit the TSTC Foundation’s Texas Success Scholarship website.
↠ University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington is located midway between Dallas and Fort Worth. The university boasts a global enrollment of 58,000-plus students and offers more than 180 degree programs, making it the largest university in North Texas and the fourth largest in Texas.
While UTA offers a wide span of scholarships, grants, and financial aid across all departments, here is a small sampling of opportunities:
Joe R. Martin Scholars Program — Awarded to entering freshmen students who plan to major in mechanical engineering. Selection will be based on academic record, SAT or ACT scores, extracurricular activities, and potential for becoming a successful mechanical engineer.
Diversity Regional Enhancement in STEM Scholarship (DRESS) — DRESS is a $1,000 scholarship awarded to incoming freshman who intend to pursue a STEM field (science or engineering). Other financial need and academic merit eligibility criteria may apply.
University of Texas at Arlington Centennial Scholarship Endowment — Awarded to deserving and academically promising first-generation college students who are entering freshmen or new transfers. Freshmen must have minimums of 900 SAT/19 ACT or ranking in the top 25% of their graduating high school class. Transfer students are required to have an overall transfer GPA of 3.0 on a minimum of 24 college transfer hours.
↠ Dallas County Community College District
The Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) is a network of seven community colleges in Dallas County. As one of the largest community college systems in the state, the district serves more than 86,000 students in academic, continuing education, and adult education programs.
With more than 100 majors featuring one- and two-year certificates and degrees, DCCCD offers a wealth of options. Some of the programs include advanced manufacturing, electrical engineering technology, logistics technology, shielded metal arc welding, welding technology, and more.
DCCCD offers several dozen scholarship opportunities, including three full-tuition scholarships:
Erin Tierney Kramp Encouragement Endowed Scholarship — Eligible applicants include high school seniors who will graduate in the spring and current students attending any of the seven colleges. Recipients receive funds for tuition and books for six consecutive semesters. Additionally, recipients receive access to a Life Skills Mentor as a resource to achieve their academic, personal, and professional potential. Recipients are also eligible to apply for The Erin Tierney Kramp Emergency Grant which provides financial support for scholarship recipients experiencing temporary financial hardship up to a maximum of $1,000.
Muse Scholarship — Available to students who volunteer at least 20 hours of community service annually or work part-time. Recipients receive funds for tuition and books for six consecutive semesters.
Myers-LeCroy Scholars Endowed Scholarship — Eligible applicants include graduating seniors who will attend any of the seven colleges. Recipients receive funds for tuition and books for six consecutive semesters.
↠ North Central Texas College
Originally founded in 1924, North Central Texas College (NCTC) is the oldest continuously operating two-year college in the state. NCTC has five campuses located throughout North Texas. While the degrees and courses vary for each campus, all campuses offer a thriving learning environment with expert faculty.
The college offers general studies as well as an extensive list of career and technology classes. Industrial-related instruction at NCTC includes machining technology, industrial mechanics, welding technology, and more.
The college also offers several NCTC Foundation Scholarships. Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $2,000 per academic year.
NCTC Foundation Dual Credit Scholarships — Available to high school students taking dual credit classes at NCTC.
Faculty Senate Scholarship and William E. Culp Math & Science Scholarship — Available to students who enroll in and complete at least 12 hours of college work at NCTC for one academic year and achieve a 3.0 GPA.
Mary Josephine Cox Scholarship — Awarded based on special need or special competency. Students must have a 3.0 GPA, be under 21 years old, and either be a graduate of a Cooke County high school or their parents must own property in Cooke County.
↠ Tarrant County College
As one of the 20 largest higher education institutions in the U.S., Tarrant County College (TCC) offers a broad array of degrees and certificates.
Serving the Fort Worth region and other cities in Tarrant County, TCC provides automotive, aviation, and welding programs designed to equip students with specialized skills.
The TCC Foundation offers a variety of scholarship programs, including:
- Tarrant County College Book Scholarship — Provides $400 per semester to students registered for a minimum of nine hours, who upkeep at least a 2.75 GPA, and who will have an expected family contribution (EFC) greater than $4,401.
- Mary I. Gourley Scholarship — Awarded to applicants who meet specific criteria surrounding financial need, age, family obligations, and prior academic achievement. Preference is given to students with a medical/handicap condition or who have a child with a medical/handicap condition.
- National Distance Learning Week Scholarship Essay Contest — Students can write a 300 to 350-word essay for a chance to win a scholarship. First place is awarded $300, second place $200, and third place $100.
A Game Changer for the Texas Manufacturing Workforce
These scholarship programs — and so many more — are a testament to the network of schools in North Texas that offer life-changing opportunities for students to obtain higher education at a lower price point. Thanks to a comprehensive educational foundation, the DFW metro area will continue to meet the workforce demands across a variety of industries.
After all, in today’s competitive economy, providing students the ability to affordably enhance their skill set and prepare for a successful career in manufacturing is a game changer.