ScholarShot was founded in 2009 by concerned business persons, educators and community volunteers who saw numerous well-meaning college advisement and “access” programs failing at-risk students. Although admitted to college and eligible to receive state and federal grants and loans, these students prove to be unprepared and underfunded and, by no fault of their own, are set up to fail. In Texas, 9 out of 10 at-risk students who get into college drop out, most with debt in excess of $25,000. When this happens our return on a public K-12 education investment of $150,000, is at best a poverty level hourly wage. Access alone is clearly not enough nor does it guarantee success for at risk students. This represents a costly blind spot in our education system, both for these great kids and for tax payers.
Since 2009 ScholarShot has developed a proven model which reverses this outcome with 90% of our Scholars succeeding in earning life-changing vocational, associate or undergraduate degrees. Through our SuccessMap Model of hands-on academic navigation, personal guidance and financial support, 9 out of 10 of our Scholars earn their degrees within 1, 3 or 5 years respectively for vocational, associate or undergraduate programs and, with less than 1/3 rd the state’s average in debt. This innovative approach is the tipping point to move at-risk youth beyond poverty, equipping them with a career-ready college degree and making good on our $150,000 K-12 investment in them. This is evident in our graduates who come from households averaging total annual income of $28,000, yet their first-year career incomes range between $35,000 and $55,000.
Leveraging the success of the ScholarShot model, our DegreeDallas Campaign is on track to produce 500 first generation college degrees from Dallas County. Projections show Dallas needs an educated workforce with more than 60% degreed individuals by 2030, while the current degreed population stands at 30% – another unmet community need ScholarShot addresses. Imagine 500 first-generation Dallas County post-secondary graduates with this outcome, influencing thousands of others to do the same.