As a couple of dozen University of Toledo admission staff members and administrators rolled toward Cleveland early Friday morning on a bus specially “wrapped” to promote the UT Guarantee, hundreds of high school seniors from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) were being bused to meet them at John Hay High School and learn more about the new scholarship program.
Seniors from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District filled out applications to UT Friday.
The UT Guarantee offers 100 percent tuition and general fees for academically qualified students who also have financial need in six Ohio urban communities, including Cleveland.
The event on Friday came about because of Cleveland’s excitement for the program.
“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.”
Approximately 500 CMSD seniors with at least a 3.0 grade point average, or close to it, who also may qualify for a federal Pell Grant were bused to John Hay from schools throughout the district for a half-day of information and events put on by UT. Many parents also attended.
“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,” Sanders said.
Activities included an opportunity for students to fill out an application to UT and meet with an admission counselor; a college fair with information about UT’s academic programs; a panel discussion with current and former UT students from Cleveland; a step show; and a 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 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. It is very gratifying to see the enthusiasm the guarantee has generated.”
The other public school districts eligible for the UT Guarantee are Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.
Students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
• Apply for admission by Jan. 5;
• File Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1;
• Display any eligibility for a Pell Grant; and
• Have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.0.
“The UT Guarantee is about more than just increasing enrollment and spreading the UT name,” Burns said. “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.