It’s a rare family that can boast of saving more than $100,000 in college tuition. One family that can definitely make that claim are the Edwards of Oak Cliff whose triplets—Michael, Morgan and Moriah graduated with their high school diplomas and tuition-free associate degrees from the Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy in 2014.
Like all Dallas ISD collegiate academies/early college high schools, Gilliam offered the Edwards triplets the opportunity to realize a savings of $40,000 each in college tuition. That’s the estimated cost of two years of tuition at a four-year college or university.
The savings were just part of the motivation for choosing Gilliam, said one of the triplets, Michael Edwards. “I had my heart set on attending Jesuit or St. Marks after high school, but our mom made the call when she received a letter announcing that all three of us were accepted at Gilliam.”
Looking back, Michael said it was the best possible decision. “It speeded up the process of receiving our bachelor’s degrees,” he said referencing his B.A. in Mass Communications/Political Science, his sister Morgan’s B.S. in Human Performance and sister Moriah’s pending pre-med degree—all earned at Prairie View A&M University.
Today, all three are forging ahead—Michael is pursuing a master of liberal studies at SMU; Morgan is studying at UT Arlington working on a master’s in athletic training, and Moriah is on track to graduate with her pre-med degree this spring.
Morgan describes the collegiate academy experience as a major confidence boost. “It helped me decide to just go for it. I’ve realized that I will never allow circumstances to get in my way. I’m doing a lot now that other 20-year-olds will need years to accomplish.”
The triplets’ mom, Monique Morgan Edwards, is beyond proud of her children’s accomplishments and grateful for both the tuition savings and the support of the Gilliam staff. “From the custodian and cafeteria lady to the principal, everyone there was part of the village” that she credits for enriching her children’s lives.