Dallas County Promise Scholarship

A Partnership with Dallas County Promise

An education at a nationally recognized, private university is more affordable than you think.

The Promise Scholarship is awarded in partnership with the Dallas County Promise program to provide a college education to students graduating from eligible high schools in Dallas County. The SMU partnership specifically seeks to identify future leaders of Dallas County and provide them an opportunity to earn an SMU degree.

SMU will select up to five (5) high school seniors to receive a two-year Promise Scholarship.  This is a last-dollar scholarship (combined with other grants and scholarships) to provide full tuition and fees.  It is available exclusively to students who meet the requirements below, have fulfilled the requirements for the Dallas County Promise program, and plan to earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from Dallas College prior to attending SMU. Learn more at Dallas County Promise.

Selection is through a holistic review based on academic and extra-curricular achievement, financial need, and leadership potential as demonstrated throughout high school and in the application process.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Apply to SMU as a first-year student by January 15 
  • Graduate from a participating Dallas County Promise high school located in Dallas County (Texas)
  • Texas residency
  • Verified Pell Grant eligibility as defined by the FAFSA or the equivalent demonstrated need as defined by the TASFA
  • Priority given to students with a cumulative “A” average (3.5 GPA on an unweighted 4.0 scale) in grades 9-12
  • Students must complete the requirements for the Dallas County Promise Path
  • Students must complete their Associate degree after graduating from high school (Students graduating high school with an Associate degree or with a significant amount of dual credit are not eligible and can instead be considered for the Mustang Scholarship)

Scholarship Conditions:

  • Graduate from a Dallas County Promise eligible high school
  • Complete an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree within two years of graduating from high school while earning a 3.500 cumulative GPA from a Dallas College school (Note: Associate of Applied Arts, Teaching (AT), and Associate of Applied Science degrees do not meet this requirement.)
  • Maintain a satisfactory disciplinary and criminal record
  • Maintain a 2.500 cumulative SMU GPA, successfully complete 75% of courses attempted, and maintain full-time student status
  • This scholarship is good for five consecutive semesters or until you complete your bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first


  • January 15: Completed SMU application and all required documents, along with the CSS Profile, due
  • February 1: Complete Dallas Promise Path due
  • February 15: FAFSA/TASFA due
  • Mid-March: Award notifications released in admission letter 


  • Is there an application process for this scholarship? No, all eligible students are automatically considered to receive this award.
  • Do I have to meet all of the eligibility requirements to be considered? Yes, applicants must meet all requirements (Dallas County Promise high school graduate, Texas resident, Pell-eligible, Dallas County Promise Path completed, no Associates degree earned in high school) in order to be considered.
  • If I take dual credit classes in high school but do not earn an Associate degree, am I still eligible? No, unfortunately, we are looking for students with little to no dual credit earned in order to be reviewed for this particular scholarship, as this scholarship does require our students to attend Dallas College for a full two years after high school graduation. Admitted students with significant dual credit or an Associate degree will instead be automatically considered for our Mustang Scholarship or for our Access SMU award.
  • If I am a current Dallas College student, can I be considered for the scholarship? Unfortunately, we only award the scholarship to first-year applicants. Students currently applying to transfer into SMU are not eligible to be reviewed for this scholarship, and should instead apply to the North Texas Community College Scholarship.
  • Is there an income requirement in order to be considered? While there is no strict income requirement, you do need to be Pell Grant eligible in order to be considered.
  • What is the CSS Profile, and is it required? Yes, the CSS Profile is required in order to be considered for this award (it is also required in order to be completely reviewed for SMU financial aid). It is very similar to the FAFSA; both FAFSA/TASFA and the CSS Profile should be submitted by January 15.
  • How will I know if I receive the scholarship? You will be notified in your admission letter that you receive in December if you applied Early Action or March if you applied Regular Decision.
  • If I submit my SMU application late, can I still be considered? Only students with completed applications by January 15 will be considered for this award.

For more information about applying for admission, scholarships or financial aid as well as fee waivers, contact Jacqueline Ortiz, Admission Counselor, at 214-768-2058 or jacquelineo@smu.edu. For Dallas County Promise Scholarship recipients currently attending Dallas College, please contact Lissette Zavala, Transfer Admission Counselor, at 214-768-8724 or lzavala@smu.edu.