KENT, Ohio — Kent State University announced Wednesday that it has partnered with the LeBron James Family Foundation to provide free tuition for four years to all eligible students within the oldest I PROMISE Network class.
Those students will also be given free room and board for one year.
“The I PROMISE program is built on the ‘earned, not given’ philosophy," said Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation. "We are so excited that our students that have worked incredibly hard have earned even more life-changing opportunities to grow and excel."
The 193 students in the oldest I PROMISE Network class are currently juniors, and will be eligible for the KSU offer as college freshman in the 2021-22 academic year.
Here's how the program works, as described by KSU:
To be eligible for the free tuition, I PROMISE students must be successfully admitted to Kent State, fill out required financial aid forms and complete a requisite number of community service hours each semester.
Under the new program, Kent State will cover the tuition that remains for the I PROMISE students after they receive funds from traditional financial aid sources and will provide the first year’s room and meal plan.
To remain eligible for the free tuition each year, the students must remain in good academic standing, must complete a minimum number of credit hours annually and must take part in a required number of community service or volunteer hours.
Kent State is also launching a fundraising effort to help these students with any additional expenses, including books and the remaining three years of room and board.
“We are so pleased to take our partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to this next level and welcome these students fully into the Kent State family,” Kent State President Todd Diacon said. “Kent State looks forward to the time when our campus is teeming with I PROMISE students.”
Last November, James made headlines when he revealed plans for the new "I PROMISE Village" that will provide transitional housing for students and their families of the Akron school. It is expected to be fully operational by the start of next school year in July of 2020.
The I PROMISE School, which opened in 2018, is part of the Akron Public School District.