West Texas A&M University

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University Outreach - College Talent Search


College Talent Search



The Talent Search program identifies and assists individuals from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to and complete their postsecondary education. The program publicizes the availability of financial aid and assists participants with the postsecondary application process. Talent Search also encourages persons who have not completed education programs at the secondary or postsecondary level to enter or reenter and complete postsecondary education.

The goal of Talent Search is to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete high school and enroll in the institution of their choice and help them complete their postsecondary education. 



The College Talent Search program serves students in grades 8 through 12. Two-thirds of our program participants must be first generation AND low income. The remaining percentage can meet only one or neither of the required criteria. They can also be students who are limited English proficient, individuals with disabilities, homeless children and youths, foster care youth, individuals from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education or any other disconnected participants.



Amarillo Target Schools:

Palo Duro, Tascosa, and Caprock 

Horace Mann, Travis, Bowie, and Sam Houston 

Students must be enrolled in one of the target schools to be eligible.                                                                                                      Below is a list of the other eligibility requirements. The student must: 

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien
  • Be at least 13 years of age and in grades 8-12
  • Qualify as a Low Income(according to the 2015 Federal Income Tax Levels) and First Generation student (Neither parent has a 4-year degree) 

The student must also:

  • Commit to participate in project activities
  • Express a strong desire to go to college as defined by;
  • Showing academic potential for postsecondary education
  • Exhibiting good citizenship and leadership skills

Applicants that do not meet this criteria may also be considered. Special exceptions can be made based on need of services. 



College Talent Search at WTAMU has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education since 2002. We serve 503 students annually (477FY 2013-2014). 

  • Connections for participants to high quality academic tutoring services to enable the participants to complete secondary or postsecondary courses
  • Advice and assistance in secondary school course selection and, if applicable, initial postsecondary course selection
  • Academic, financial, career, or personal counseling including advice on entry or re-entry to secondary (high school) or entry into postsecondary programs(college/university)
  • Career exploration and aptitude assessment
  • Information on postsecondary education
  • Exposure to the campuses of institutions of higher education, as well as to cultural events, academic programs, and other sites or activities not usually available to disadvantaged youth
  • Assistance in completing college admissions and financial aid applications
  • Information on the full range of Federal student financial aid programs and benefits, resources for locating public and private scholarships, and assistance in completing financial aid applications, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Assistance in preparing for college entrance exams (ACT/SAT)
  • Mentoring programs involving elementary or secondary school teachers or counselors, faculty members at institutions of higher education, students, or any combination of these persons
  • Leadership opportunities and activities for 8th-12th grades
  • Workshops and counseling for families of participants served
  • Connections for participants to education or counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of the participants or the participants' parents, including financial planning for postsecondary education.
  • Information and activities designed to acquaint youth with the range of career options available to them

Do you need assistance with College Access? Contact Us



For more information 

To contact the College Talent Search offices in person, please feel free to visit us at the WTAMU campus. We are located in the Old Student Union Building (Old SUB), Suite 112.  

You can also reach us by mail at:

College Talent Search                                                                                                                                                                                West Texas A&M University                                                                                                                                                                       WTAMU Box 60776                                                                                                                                                                             Canyon, TX 79016-0001

You can also visit our Contact Us page if you want to reach someone specifically. 

Fax: 806-651-5355

Fill out and mail this form to (or give it to your outreach advisor on your campus)

College Resource Websites

Career Browser

College for Texans
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculator
FAFSA on the Web -  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - Money awarded to a student to help pay for college.
Federal Trio Program
Mapping Your Future
Monster Jobs and Internships
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Princeton Review
Resume Writing and Posting
Study Skills Topic Pages
US Department of Education
WT Virtual Math Lab - Need help in College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Beginning Algebra, or preparing for the math part of the THEA, ACCUPLACER, or general GRE tests.

College Board
The Simple Dollar
Wal-Mart Scholarships
Parent Resources
A Guide for Parents - Ten steps to prepare your child for college.
College For Texans Campaign
Getting Ready for College Early - A handbook for parents of students in middle and junior high school.
Preparing Your Child for College - A resource book for parents.
U.S. Department of Education


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