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Mayor Announces ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program

Mayor Announces ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program

Tuscaloosa City Schools’ high school students will soon benefit from a major educational initiative to make college more affordable as part of ELEVATE Tuscaloosa, the city’s signature plan to elevate education, experience and the economy. Mayor Walt Maddox announced the launch of Elevate Dual Enrollment college scholarships on Monday, noting that the scholarships will become available starting with the Class of 2021.

“I want every child in the City of Tuscaloosa to have an opportunity, if they so desire, for a college education,” said Maddox. “We couldn’t do this without our higher education community.”

The mayor and TCS superintendent Dr. Mike Daria were joined by Dr. Kevin Whitaker, University of Alabama Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Bill Ashley, Shelton State Community College President, and Dr. Cynthia Warrick, Stillman College President, for the announcement.

During their senior year, TCS students may take up to six fully-funded hours of college credit at either The University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College or Stillman College.

To qualify, students must:

  • Attend a TCS high school at least one year prior to taking courses as part of the ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship program;
  • Live in the Tuscaloosa City Schools’ residential attendance zones; 
  • Be classified as a senior; and
  • Meet institutions’ minimum grade point average requirements.

TCS administrators have worked with all three institutions of higher learning to identify core courses that will apply to any major. These courses will be fully funded--to include books and fees-- as part of the ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship program.

For some families, the rising costs of higher education may mean college is out of reach. Thanks to ELEVATE, taking courses will become a reality for students starting this summer.

Daria said that the scholarships underscore the work being done as part of the system’s strategic plan to provide access and equity for students. 

"This support from the City is a shining example of removing access barriers,” said Daria. “This allows us to do work that we were only able to do in pieces before, but now will be open to all students. This initiative is bringing about an unprecedented partnership between Stillman, the University and Shelton State.

This is a win for everyone. This is a win for our students. This is a win for the community, and we cannot thank everyone enough.”

Nearly 500 TCS high school juniors are projected to be eligible for the program and will begin signing up in the coming weeks at school during the annual course registration process. Funding has been allocated for all students who qualify and choose to enter the ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship program. Students will begin taking the Dual Enrollment courses later this year.

ELEVATE Tuscaloosa is a community-driven process for strategically investing in education, cultural arts, tourism, parks and recreation and connectivity. The ELEVATE plan commits $500 million worth of investments to Tuscaloosa’s future over 30 years. To learn more and become involved in the process visit