“It definitely takes a big worry off of my shoulders,” said Michael Connalley, a senior at Buchtel High School.
Connalley is just a few weeks away from graduation. After he accepts his diploma, he will begin to prepare for a new journey at the University of Akron to pursue a business degree. He will be among the first students to receive the university’s new Akron Guarantee Scholarship.
“I’ve experimented with a bunch of scholarship packages and programs, and one of the things I’ve discovered is students really benefit from certainty,” said UA President Matthew Wilson.
In this case, certainty comes in the form of financial security. The University of Akron is working to keep students, who may be struggling with paying for their course, in the classroom and on track to complete their degree.
“Some people have to work two or three jobs, try to do this and try to do that, to find ways to go to college,” said Connalley. “But with this, I have more flexibility.”
The scholarship would “guarantee” students will receive tuition help if they are able to keep good academic standing while at UA. If students complete the required number of credits and keep up their grades ( a 2.0 GPA or higher) , they will be eligible for an upgrade.
“So by the time that a student is a senior at the University of Akron, they will be receiving, automatically, $3,500 more than their freshman year,” said Wilson.
Wilson said the program is designed to encourage students to stay in school instead of making the decision to take a break or drop out of college.
“This means everything to me, because it means I’ll make my dreams a reality,” said Connalley.
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