Tarleton receives $1.97M Title III Strengthening Institutions grant
STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University has received a $1.97 million U.S. Department of Education Title III Strengthening Institutions Program Grant to support Texan Smart (access, opportunity and success), specifically enhancing the school’s student-advisor ratio and expanding tutoring services.
“Title III grants are extremely competitive and highly sought by post-secondary schools nationwide,” said Dr. Karen Murray, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “This is a game changer for Tarleton. It will help increase educational opportunity and further advance success for our first-generation, underrepresented students.”
More than 50% of Tarleton Texans are the first in their family to pursue a university degree, and almost 40 percent of all students are Pell Grant eligible.
Dr. Jennifer Edwards, assistant provost and assistant vice president of Academic Diversity Initiatives, authored the proposal.
“There is no doubt that this grant will have a profound impact on how we serve our students,” Dr. Edwards said. “It will reduce gaps in achievement and remove barriers to success by better aligning student needs with increased support.”
The grant will create a financial center and also expand academic advising to help first-time-in-college students make informed choices on meta-majors and clear paths to degree completion. Six additional advisors will be employed to lower the student-advisor ratio by 25 percent.
Distributed over five years, the funds will increase tutoring services and applied learning experiences, internships and job placement assistance.
Tarleton’s Quality Enhancement Plan for 2021-26, Texan Smart debuted in February to provide students the know-how and confidence to be financially fit today and long after they graduate. It is part of the school’s recent reaffirmation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Research by the U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission shows that college students often underestimate the amount of student loan debt they incur, have concerns about their ability to repay, struggle with substantial credit card debt, and may even engage in high-rate, high-risk borrowing.
“Money plays a critical role in our lives, and not having enough of it impacts health as well as academic performance,” Murray said. “Texan Smart resources and programs put our students on the path toward long-lasting financial well-being.”