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Good Grades & Graduation Equals Home Ownership at Paul Quinn College

Paul Quinn College, one of the oldest historically Black colleges in Dallas, will help build a house for one of its top-notch students.

The school is partnering with Habitat for Humanity in a pilot program centered on student retention, community development and economic empowerment, says Paul Quinn’s recently named president Michael Sorrell.

To become eligible, the student must graduate within five years, with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, secure employment in the Dallas metropolitan area, maintain a good credit history and donate 400 hours of volunteer time to the community.

“This program is a combination of financial literacy, retention, and community development,” Sorrell says. “It’s one thing to think about financial literacy [in terms of] credit card debt and student loans. But the benefits of financial literacy become very real to you when the payoff is your own home.”

Part of Sorrell’s ambition is to graduate students within six years or less and to keep them in the Dallas.

Paul Quinn is one of the first colleges to attempt this program in the state, and perhaps in the nation, Habitat for Humanity officials say.

“We may be one of the first to kick off this particular program,” says Connie Boyd, chief of development for Habitat for Humanity. “We hope that it will inspire others to do the same if it is successful.”

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