- One in five adults in Amarillo lacks a high school diploma.
- The rate of our local education attainment is growing much more slowly than that of the state or the nation and will not keep up with the emerging knowledge-based jobs of the 21st century global economy, or even our current workforce demands.
- Amarillo and the Panhandle rank below the state and national averages in the number of adults with a bachelor's degree or above.
- If current trends remain, the future workforce needed for a vibrant economy may no longer exist in the Texas Panhandle.
- ACE provides a better-educated and trained skilled workforce through knowledge-based economy.
The Amarillo Area Foundation initiated the ACE Scholarship Program in 1994 in partnership with the Amarillo Independent School District, Amarillo College and West Texas A&M University. ACE began at Palo Duro High School in 1994 and at Caprock High School in 2002.
ACE is currently expanding their program. The expansion will include future scholarships to students at Bivins, Margaret Wills and San Jacinto elementary schools that feed into Tascosa High School. The children who finish 5th grade (High School Graduation Class of 2016) at one of these schools will be eligible for ACE Scholarships if they continue on to Tascosa High School and meet the eligibility requirements of the ACE Program.
ACE provides access to higher education for students at both of these high schools by providing numerous preparatory activities throughout high school and college.
ACE guarantees payment for tuition, fees and books for up to 130 semester hours at Amarillo College or West Texas A&M University. ACE is the "last money in," meaning all federal and private aid is applied prior to awarding ACE Scholarship funds. ACE requires high school students to pledge annually to maintain at least an 80 grade point average, a 95% attendance record and appropriate behavior while attending high school.