The scholarship program, called the UT Guarantee, offers 100% tuition and general fees for academically qualified students that also have financial need in six Ohio urban communities, including Cleveland.
“Through our ‘Cleveland Goes to College’ initiative we are determined to increase the number of our students who pursue a degree in higher education,” said Eugene Sanders, CEO of CMSD. “The UT Guarantee is a program that should go a long way in making the dream of college a reality for many of our deserving students.”
An informational event about the UT Guarantee for students and parents was held on Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, at John Hay High School in Cleveland.
Approximately 500 CMSD seniors with at least a 3.0 grade point average, or close to it, that may also qualify for a federal Pell Grants were bused to John Hay from schools throughout the district for a half-day full of information and events with UT admissions staff.
“The UT Guarantee is a very exciting opportunity and we want to do everything we can to make sure our students and parents are fully aware of it,” said Sanders.
Activities included an opportunity for students to fill out an application to UT and meet with an admissions counselor, a college fair with information about UT’s various academic programs, a panel discussion with current and former UT students from Cleveland, a step show performed by UT fraternities, and live Web message from UT President Lloyd Jacobs.
“Many of the students who take advantage of the UT Guarantee will be the first person in their family to attend college,” said Larry Burns, UT’s vice president for external affairs. “We believe this is a program that over time will change the lives of young people for generations to come.”
The other public school districts eligible for the UT Guarantee are: Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.
Students from the six eligible districts can now attend UT for free if they meet the following eligibility requirements.
• Apply for admission by Jan. 5, 2009;
• File Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1, 2009;
• Display any eligibility for a Pell Grant; &
• Minimum high school grade-point-average of 3.0.
“The UT Guarantee is about more than just increasing enrollment and spreading the UT name,” said Burns. “The program is mission driven, in that it helps us improve the human condition.”
Sanders added “Due to today’s high cost of a college education, many high school students and their parents don’t think about it as a realistic opportunity. CMSD and UT want to change that mindset and get our urban students to begin preparing themselves for a university education when they’re in junior high school. With the UT Guarantee, financial need has been largely taken out of the equation.”
The UT Guarantee program is good for all four years of school, as long as its recipients maintain a 3.0 grade-point-average, complete 30 credit hours each school year, and file a FAFSA annually.