(Click here to download a PDF copy of the Universal Access Program flyer)
In 1996, Galveston College revived the Galveston College Foundation and formed a separate community-based nonprofit that "exists to support and enhance the ability of Galveston College to accomplish its mission of improving people's lives through lifelong learning."
A primary role of the Foundation is the administration of a program called Universal Access which was designed to reduce high school dropout rates by providing college tuition and fee payments for local high school graduates regardless of income.
The Universal Access program, implemented in the fall of 2001, has gone through many significant transitions, received state and national media recognition and awards and continues to be a valuable gift to the residents of Galveston Island, Port Bolivar and Crystal Beach.
The Galveston College Universal Access program can benefit all high school (public and private), home schooled or GED graduates. This reminder comes at a time when Galveston College recruits students for its 2014—2015 fall and spring semesters.
Individuals who left Galveston Island to attend a four-year college or university may possibly receive Universal Access during summer. Please contact the Foundation office for information about the Universal Access option.
The Universal Access guidelines have been adjusted in the last few years to provide even greater access for local residents to take advantage of their local community college.
Students awarded Universal Access are encouraged to take three or more courses during the fall and spring semesters. Universal Access awards may fund one or both summer sessions. For more information please contact the Foundation office. Students who work and attend college may acquire Universal Access funds for approximately five years.
The Universal Access program may support non-credit programs for qualified students who pursue short-term opportunities in specific vocational technical training programs.
The Universal Access program exists in large part due to the generosity of local businesses, individuals and foundations.
The Board of Directors raised $3.1M for a Permanent Endowment. Endowed funds are invested and added to by annual gifts which guarantee a total of $2,400 for tuition and fees plus a one-time $200 book stipend for every Galveston high school graduate. Students may retrieve these funds over a five-year period. They must retain a 2.0 grade point average to continue receipt of funds. The Universal Access award was recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordination Committee for its inspired use of private sector funds to secure access to College and the future of the citizens of Galveston.
From 2010—2013, an average of 337 students received Universal Access funds. During this time, the Foundation’s program awarded more than a half million dollars to Galvestonians. Since the inception of UA, 1,223 Galveston College students graduated with an associate degree or technical certificate. Hundreds more have accessed the innovative private sector initiative and pursued their education while achieving a higher standard of living and well-being.
Recent investments and on-going donations contribute to an Endowment for Universal Access. When combined with federal Pell awards, the College has major resources in tuition assistance from the public and private sectors.
The existing Universal Access endowment combined with federal Pell awards, creates a critical tuition assistance program which assures Galvestonians an opportunity to attain an associate’s degree or a technical certificate.