Maria Santos Maria SantosMaria Santos started college in 2012 with hopes of becoming a dental assistant. She never completed her program, though, due to the pressure caused by trying to both attend school and work full time to fund her studies.

“School and work became very overwhelming so I had to drop out in my second clinical semester,” Santos said.

This year, Santos is back in school, thanks to grant money designed specifically to help adults who want to complete a degree or certificate they started but did not finish.

The grant money is available to students who would like to complete a degree or certificate at Temple College as well as Central Texas College and Texas A&M University-Central Texas. In all, the three institutions have more than $1 million in grant funding awarded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Eligible adults may receive between $500-$2,500 per semester.

Santos took advantage of the grant money to enroll in the Clinical Medical Assistant program offered by the Temple College Business and Continuing Education Division. She is one of 11 students in the year-long CMA program whose tuition is being covered by the reskilling grant.

Santos said she found out about the grant opportunity from a CMA at the community clinic in Waco where she works.

“I decided to take advantage of the reskilling grant because I was determined to further my career in the medical field,” Santos said.

Santos said her goal is to work her way up and become a registered nurse.

“I honestly believe I would not have been able to attend school if it was not for the reskilling grant,” she said. “The reskilling grant has given me the opportunity to return to school and reach my career goal.”

For more information on the reskilling grant program, visit