Cleveland Metropolitan School District graduates are about to get a major boost for their college education.
Over the next 25 years, students continuously living in Cleveland's school footprint who spend all four years at a CMSD high school or a partnering charter school will be eligible to receive scholarships towards post-secondary education tuition as part of the "Say Yes to Education Program." The announcement was officially made Friday at Cleveland's John Marshall High School, as the city becomes the fourth "Say Yes" community in the United States.
While families will still have to pay for living costs, the scholarships will cover the "last dollar" of tuition following state and federal aid. With $125 million set to be raised (including more than $88 million already), that means tuition will be free for nearly everybody starting with the 2019 senior class
All public colleges and more than 100 private colleges (including 12 in the state of Ohio) are participating in Say Yes, which will also provide support services and mentoring programs for students, faculty, and families.
Say Yes founder George Weiss issued the following statement:
"The members of the Say Yes National Board and I have been deeply impressed, and moved, by the efforts of the city of Cleveland to come together to offer its young people hope—an aspiration that has always served as a cornerstone of Say Yes to Education.
"Our new partners in Cleveland recognize that it requires an enormous investment to raise the aspirations of all students, many of them seeking to become the first in their families to attend college—and, more importantly, to graduate. There is the obvious financial commitment. But fulfilling that promise also requires community buy-in, a willingness to believe that all children can succeed if they are given not only the opportunity, but the necessary support. That includes tutoring and mentoring as well as services to improve their health and social-emotional well-being."
More information can be found at SayYesCleveland.org, and donations are being accepted to help cover the last $35 million needed.