UT has committed nearly $7 million to Michigan ninth grade students by way of its Scholarly Savings Account and plans to more then double that investment in the coming year.
“The Detroit Red Wings start recruiting their fans at a young age and at The University of Toledo, we’re trying to do the same,” said Larry Burns, vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity. “By letting students know as early as eighth grade that college is an option, you change the trajectory of the way they view their class work throughout their college career.”
Last year, UT offered every Michigan school district the chance to sign up for the Scholarly Savings Account, a scholarship program that promised five annual $2,000 deposits beginning in eighth grade. To receive the accrued funds, a student must have a cumulative 3.0 grade-point average (GPA) at the end of his/her senior year and enroll at UT.
“The Scholarly Savings Account program is one of the best ideas I have seen in my 20 years in K-12 education,” said Gregory Diamond, of principal Northern High School in Walled Lake, Mich.
“This program gets students thinking about attending college in eighth grade, when students are not typically thinking about the realities of going to a four-year university,” Diamond said. “This program helps them and their parents realize that college is a reality and that earning a bachelor’s degree is attainable.”
John Adams, UT’s senior director of enrollment brand management, said the partnership to promote access to higher education with the Red Wings was just one of the high-profile connections for sports fans with UT.
“We realize that UT may not be the first university that comes to students’ minds, but once they see the UT campus, realize costs are similar if you have strong grades and realize they can go away to college and still head home on weekends, we turn a lot of heads,” Adams said.
The Rockets won the women’s basketball National Invitation Tournament and the football team played a thriller last December at the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl at Detroit’s Ford Field.
“We’re working hard to increase our profile in Michigan,” Adams said, “and hopefully the result will be more students earning a great education.”
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ... “Wow! The University of Toledo has created a wonderful scholarship incentive for students who may not recognize the value of education and the financial rewards associated with earning good grades. This incentive not only allows students to plan ahead but it also shows evidence that working hard and staying focused by earning good grades can literally lead to money in the bank!”Ms. Yolanda Bloodsaw, Principal
James R. Geisler Middle School, Walled Lake, Michigan“As a counselor, I am very excited about the scholarship opportunities University of Toledo’s providing for our students. It is a great way to reward students throughout four years of high school.” Christine Connell, Counselor
Northern High School, Walled Lake, Michigan“The University of Toledo’s Scholarly Savings Account program has helped me begin to think about the possibilities of me going to college. It helps me stay focused on my grades because I need to maintain a 3.0 GPA to continue to qualify. I plan to continue earning money in this program that might end up helping my parents pay for my future college education.”Joseph Frank, Freshman
Northern High School, Walled Lake, Michigan“I am excited about the opportunity The University of Toledo is offering for our high school students. I am particularly impressed that the incentive is introduced to our students at the beginning of ninth grade so they have a target goal where they can monitor their own progress and have complete control as to whether or not they earn the scholarship.” John Lewandowski, Guidance Counselor
Western High School, Walled Lake, Michigan"In addition to the convenient proximity of Toledo's campus, the welcoming atmosphere made the University of Toledo extremely appealing. Being able to emerge myself in a competitive, yet comfortable, environment truly provides me with a great opportunity to excel."Courtney Rusch, Senior
North High School, Grosse Pointe, Michigan