A college degree may be the key to helping children from low-income families enter the middle class. However, children of low-income families are also the demographic least likely to take advantage of opportunities provided by higher education, usually skipping college entirely. An initiative in Washington known as the?College Bound Scholarship Program seeks to change that.
The information on the scholarship program are deceptively simple. In 8th grade, participants are inspired to commit to not only graduating high school but also to enroll in a college while staying from trouble. For individuals who keep that pledge, this program will provide not just a full tuition college scholarship and cover expenses for room and board, but additionally give students a little book allowance to cover textbooks along with other academic materials.
The program wishes to make a difference for a group that is typically underrepresented on college campuses round the country C children from family with a median income at or underneath the federal poverty line.
\”Before, I truly didn\’t think I\’d have the ability to go to college, however i really wanted to. I thought to myself: My parents can not afford it. I registered because I wanted it that helped me to go to college,\” said Cody Evans, a Shadle Park Senior high school senior. \”It\’s likely to help me worry less about the financial end of college. I\’ll be in a position to focus on my?education.\”
So far the results have been promising. Based on the Spokesman-Review, 78% of last year’s participants graduated senior high school on time, which places the group’s graduation rate nearly 20% greater than the average low-income high school graduation rate within the state of Washington. Of the students graduating last year, nearly 17,000 signed up for the program initially and 6,900 of them went on to satisfy the on-time high school graduation requirement.
In total 4,700 scholarships were awarded C the main difference being due either to the fact that the graduates fell out of the qualified income gap by the time they left senior high school or because they found alternative funding elsewhere.
Since the program\’s inception, recruitment and retention continues to be state officials\’ focus. The Washington Student Achievement Council works with K-12 schools, state agencies, nonprofit organizations and college access groups to sign up eligible?students.
In the first two years, school districts signed up about 57 percent of qualifying students, said Rachelle Sharpe, director of student financial assistance at the Washington Student Achievement Council. \”Since then, every sign-up continues to be bigger. This past year, we had signed up 79 percent of students who qualified,\” she?said.