Christine Lee, Irving Reporter
Students begin learning about college at an early age.
Before cheering on the Razorbacks at the Cotton Bowl, the University of Arkansas' Chancellor David Gearhart pre-partied at an Irving elementary school.
Gabriela Hernandez's third grade class at J.O. Schulze Elementary adopted the University of Arkansas as a part of the national program No Excuses University.
Although most of her students have never been to the university, they want to study there.
"I want to learn how to be a doctor for dogs, cats, and birds," said third-grader Ashley Fiallos.
For the past three years, every classroom at Schulze from kindergarten to fifth grade has adopted a different university. Principal Lariza Liner said it's important to teach students about the importance of higher education from an early age.
"Our motto for our school that our students say every single morning is, 'Schulze Elementary, where the path to college begins,'" said Liner.
Hernandez's third-grade class has gotten a lot of support from volunteers. Razorbacks living in North Texas have been coming every week to mentor their young friends.
"You know this is taking half day off of work to come down and spend the day with my students, and that's huge to us," said Hernandez.
Gearhard said he hopes the students will keep their enthusiasm for their futures alive.
"If you don't come to the University of Arkansas, go to the school of your choice. And the important thing is, get an education," he said.
Ten percent of the entire University of Arkansas student population comes from Texas. Plano High School provides the third largest group of students from a single high school going to that university.