Over 80% of North Texas high school graduates are from low-income households and according to the TEA, only 19% will earn any post-secondary credential. We must do a better job in helping these students exit generational poverty with career-ready degrees to maximize their potential and build our much-needed Texas workforce. Our primary program (Turning Dropouts into Degrees) has a 90% degree success rate. ScholarShot is the only agency that provides a holistic approach through advisement, financial support, mentorship and career readiness training.
In addition to the impact ScholarShot is having for our Scholars, we are leveraging our data to influence better outcomes for tens of thousands of students on a statewide basis. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) data, fewer than half (only 49%) of the 350,000 Texas high school graduates attempt any post-secondary credential, and fewer than one third (only 29%) succeed. This failure represents an investment by our state of $37 billion per year to produce poverty wages or low employability ($150,000 for each K-12 education x 350,000 x 71%).
ScholarShot data shows there are two root causes for these poor outcomes. Firstly, our public high schools evidence a significant gap in advisement if fewer than half (only 49%) attempt and fewer than one third (only 29%) succeed in earning a post-secondary credential. Secondly, the lack of accountability in our public universities who take FGLI students’ grants and loans yet make little effort to see these students succeed in earning a degree.
To address these 2 issues, in February 2022 ScholarShot released the GapApp, a statewide online mobile application for any high school senior in Texas to learn their best path to maximize their potential and earnings after high school. You can access the GapApp at www.knowmygap.com. Secondly, ScholarShot publishes its annual Texas University Report Card in January each year, measuring our 38 public four-year campuses on how well they engage their FGLI students. You can access the Texas University Report Card on our website at https://scholarshot.org/texas-public-university-report-card/.
ScholarShot intends to use our data from these two statewide initiatives to better inform our FGLI students and produce better outcomes for them and our workforce. We will provide persistence data from the GapApp to policy makers and legislators to produce better outcomes from our graduating High School Students.