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Wings join Univ. of Toledo to motivate kids

by John Hahn / Detroit Red Wings
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DETROIT -- The Red Wings and The University of Toledo are partnering to help motivate young students to prepare for a college education by spreading the word about UT’s new Scholarly Savings Account Program, which is available to all students across the country.

The partnership will be announced at a press conference Friday, Feb. 12, at 1:30 p.m. EST at Joe Louis Arena in the Olympia Club. Leaders and guidance counselors from high schools across Michigan have been invited to attend and learn more about the program and how their students can participate.

The Scholarly Savings Account Program is an innovative new effort that, beginning in 2010, UT will make as many as five annual deposits of $2,000 into individual student scholarship accounts with the successful completion of the eighth grade and for completion of each year of high school if they meet pre-established academic, attendance and behavioral goals.

“A love of Red Wings hockey is instilled in fans at a young age and children grow up with that passion. We’re trying to develop that same passion in education for students early in their lives so students and their parents know college is a realistic goal academically and financially,” said Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs.

“Higher education continues to be one of the most important ways for our children to personally develop and succeed in life,” said Ken Holland, Red Wings executive vice president and general manager. “This program from The University of Toledo is an excellent way to motivate high school students and ease the financial demands of college. We’re very happy to help promote this scholarship plan.”

For students to be eligible, they must graduate with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and meet core curriculum criteria for regular admission to UT. At the same time, their school districts must sign a participation agreement with UT, that includes the development of their own requirements and an annual tracking process.

Upon graduation from high school, a student may have accumulated a maximum of $10,000 through the Scholarly Savings Program that can be used toward tuition at UT. The scholarship funds the will be disbursed in annual increments of $2,500 for four years of attendance at the University.

“I believe this provides a road map for students,” said Burns, who also serves as interim vice president for equity and diversity. “It’s a powerful message to be able to say, ‘Here is money on the table; if you work hard in school, it’s yours.’”

Besides providing scholarship dollars, the Scholarly Savings Account Program aims to give school districts leverage to require students to do things such as take the necessary college prep courses, participate in activities and meet attendance requirements.

UT officials believe that this will result in improved high school graduation rates and better prepare students for the rigor of a college education.

School districts with questions or that are interested in joining the Scholarly Savings Account Program are encouraged to contact Kevin Kucera, UT associate vice president for enrollment services, at 419-530-5742.

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