Soldiers, citizens and campus community unite for equality and accessibility in education

Campus tours are a common sight, but fall is not the time college students expect to be dodging high school students on the way to class. On Oct. 22, UTSA played host to a series of campus tours for Northside Independent School District students enrolled in the AVID college prep course.

These tours were the culmination of work done by the League of United Latin American Citizens. In 1972 “a national services program was implemented based on the success of the LUCAC’s Financial Aid and College admissions outreach program.” Students like Mary Jane, a senior at MacArthur High School, are direct beneficiaries of this program.

Mary Jane had already been accepted into UTSA’s physical therapy program at the time of her tour. She chose UTSA because of “…the incredible information the university was able to provide” her. Mary Jane partook in a tour led by UTSA students in the ROTC program. Carlos Cabello Sophomore criminal justice major, Carlos Cabello says that the ROTC program offers huge benefits in partnerships with the LUCAC. ROTC students can receive a cash stipend that scales from $300 as a freshman, to $500 as a senior. This also comes with a $600 book check per semester.

Roxanne Wright, student success advisor and Celia Collard, a counselor from Marshall High School, wished “Northside could spend the resources to take students on campus tours more often”. Collard explained “that unfortunately most school districts do not have such resources, and opportunities for free tours like the LUCAC’s do not happen often.”

In 2014, the U.S. Army spent $163 million on tuition, directed towards 8,064 degrees earned by soldiers. The U.S. Army fact sheet on education states that these benefits are available at more 1,100 colleges and universities.

The Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation National Survey of Latinos: Education stated that “Seventy-seven percent of latinos say the cost of education is a key reason for not starting or even completing college.” Since 1929 the League of United Latin American Citizens have been fighting to lower the barriers to higher education for Hispanics and other minorities. The efforts of the LUCAC in concert with the services from the U.S. Army since 1981 strive to bring equality to higher education access.