Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Earn A's, B's, get free college

This sounds like a plan. I know they can't do it for everybody, but if we can start early on getting students thinking about college then perhaps they can start now and build up their skills needed for success. Sun-Times:
For 22 sixth-graders from Bellwood, it's the chance -- and challenge -- of a lifetime: If they can get all A's and B's throughout middle school and high school, stay out of trouble and graduate, they'll earn a college scholarship worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to Concordia University in River Forest.

Fifth Third Bank is sponsoring the program, which includes free tuition, room, board and books at Concordia, where tuition is nearly $30,000. It's likely to cost substantially more when these kids start college, around 2015, though Concordia plans to offer a steep discount.

The students will get laptops loaded with learning software and will have access to free tutoring from students and faculty at Concordia, mentors, free summer-school courses and even paid summer jobs. And their parents can attend courses in financial fitness at Fifth Third Bank.

The program is the idea of Tom Jandris, Concordia's graduate school dean, and Terry Zinc, former president of Fifth Third Bank in Chicago, now a top national officer of the bank. Jandris said they wanted to help students from a low-income, diverse area go to college.

"We are trying to create a lighthouse effect, where the interventions will ripple out across the district and hopefully the nation," he said.
Let's hope these kids make it and I sincerely hope that even if they don't make As and Bs they might still want to go to college, even if it's not Concordia. When they do make it to college, I hope they're as successful as they are in elementary or secondary school.

Via Capitol Fax morning shorts!

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