>The value of an “A” has never been higher at Albion High School.
Albion students can now earn up to $10,000 toward a college education at the University of Toledo and look forward to “in-state tuition rates” to the Ohio school through a partnership with the university’s Scholarly Savings Account.
Starting with the 2010-11 class of Albion freshmen, students are eligible for a $2,000 savings account toward enrollment at Toledo. For each successive semester a student achieves a 3.0 grade-point average and meets other basic requirements, another $1,000 will be added to their scholarship.
Willie Lewis, the district’s director of achievement and accountability, said a colleague brought the program to his attention and he made a few calls to Toledo’s admissions office to get the ball rolling.
“We recognize that a lot of our students, or just young people in general, don’t necessarily have a delayed sense of gratification — things are more instant — and we’re trying to tap into that by incentivizing what you do now by offering up this guaranteed money,” he said.
When the partnership was finalized at the beginning of the school year, Albion was the northern-most school district participating in the program. Since then several other Michigan school districts have partnered with Toledo, including Manchester and Onsted.
The savings account requires students to graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. If a student gets off track for a semester and earns less than a 3.0, he or she is not disqualified but does miss out on $1,000 for that semester.
Students must enroll at Toledo the fall after they graduate and the scholarship is awarded over four years. Students cannot add to their financial reward if they transfer to a high school that is not a participating institution.
Lewis said the program’s early impact is obvious in the words he’s heard in the hallways from upperclassmen who are not eligible for the financial reward.
“These older kids are at a place where they understand the role of education in their futures, and they are telling the younger students, ‘You need to do what you need to do in class so you can take part in this program,’ ” he said.
If an Albion student finishes with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher for their high school career and scores at least a 21 on the ACT test, Toledo will also automatically consider him or her for up to $12,000 of scholarship money through the Tower Scholar Award for out-of-state students.
As published in the Jackson Citizen Patriot on May 2, 2011