North Texas Daily

Eagle Advantage program expands to four districts

Eagle Advantage program expands to four districts

April 28
19:26 2015

Adalberto Toledo / Staff Writer

President Neal Smatresk announced Tuesday that Gainesville ISD will be the newest district to join the Eagle Advantage Program, which offers high school juniors in the top 20 percent of their class guaranteed admission to UNT.

In addition to Gainesville, Smatresk announced last week that Denton ISD will participate in the program along with Aubrey and Arlington ISDs.

“We want to give you the green carpet treatment,” Smatresk said during a speech at a ceremony at Denton’s Billy Ryan High School last Tuesday.

Both Denton and Gainesville school officials said they believe the involvement with the program will bolster the bond with the university.

“We’ve always had a great relationship with UNT,” Gainesville High School principal David Glancy said in a UNT press release. “We’ve had Emerald Eagle Scholarship winners each year, and TRiO is an integral part of our college readiness program. The Eagle Advantage program strengthens our relationship and is a natural fit for us.”

Executive Director of Secondary Academics for Denton ISD David Hicks mirrored those thoughts, calling the program an “incredible partnership.” 

Parents also see Eagle Advantage as a viable option for their children.

“This opportunity sounds great,” said Amy Hydoc, mother of a Denton ISD student. “There’s no doubt UNT is a good school and I will definitely ask my daughter to consider.”

For the fall 2015 semester, the opportunity to be part of the program has been extended to seniors who also fall in the 20 percent graduating this spring. By spring, guaranteed admission will apply to juniors only.

As an added incentive, the university will offer each participating school a $1000 scholarship to disburse to one junior per year admitted under the program.

“We have an opportunity to keep the best and brightest in Denton,” Denton ISD Superintendent Jamie Wilson said. “In the long run this will help the local economy. I believe there is no better place for our students than UNT.”

Some students have already expressed interest in the program.

“I definitely will look into it,” Fred Moore High School student Myron Santiago said. “I have hopes of attending MIT, but will look into the engineering program at UNT.”

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