ACE Scholarship Program will soon be available to more Amarillo schools

ACE Scholarship will soon be offered to those who qualify in all AISD schools. (Photo courtesy: Amarillo College). 

Amarillo College may soon be filled with more students from Amarillo's Independent School District than ever before.

"Over the course of the last year, we've been talking about what would make ACE more impactful to our community and that's how this discussion grew," President/CEO of Amarillo Area Foundation, Clay Stribling said.

Twenty-three years ago when the ACE scholarship was first created, only a select few high schools were eligible. However, that's not the case any more.

"Our goal with the ACE Amarillo Program is to expand it to all of the High Schools in AISD," AC Director of Communications and Marketing, Wes Condray-Wright said.

AC says this expansion will offer an additional 1,000 students the chance to get a higher education.

"It would guarantee those students the ability to attend Amarillo College for up to 60 hours over three years," Stribling said.

And while completing these 60 hours, the scholarship will pay for tuition, fees and books.

"Right now people are working on figuring out what those scholarship requirements are, who it's going to affect, as well as AISD's school board, [that will] still need to vote on it," Condray-Wright said.

Seventy percent of Amarillo residents do not have education beyond high school, according to AC.

"A small investment in education can yield really large returns from an economic-activity standpoint," Stribling said.

But the expansion of the ACE scholarship program may have a lasting impact on the entire community.

"We're hopeful that by increasing the pool of eligible workers in Amarillo that are college educated or have a certificate or an Associate's Degree, that we're going to increase economic activity [and] we're going to make Amarillo a more attractive place for companies to relocate," Stribling said.

The program and its growth can partly be attributed to the ability of business partners to collaborate and exchange impactful ideas.

"All of us are here because we're passionate about students and their success, so it'll be really exciting to see those students graduate from High School and naturally come to Amarillo College," Condray-Wright said.

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