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Monday, March 30, 2009

Scholarship idea: One year for good behavior

Last week, the Chicago Tribune reported a scholarship idea that struck me as something with real potential to make big change. Illinois state rep Mike Boland is proposing a plan that gets to kids early and makes college a realistic expectation.
In Boland's proposal, 8th graders and their families would sign a pledge that the student would maintain a C average and would avoid getting suspended or arrested. In exchange, the state would pay the first year's tuition at an Illinois community college or an equivalent sum toward tuition at any institution of higher education in Illinois. Full story
Boland is working on funding plans for the $25 million program. While claiming he won't got after tax dollars, Boland thinks he can raise revenue by increasing fines for charges like DUIs or shoplifting.

Provided the money comes together, I'm interested in seeing how this works. It continually stuns me that there are kids out there who don't consider college a possibility and I think this could be a way of changing that outlook.

Isn't the biggest struggle getting students to care about their education and their future? If you go into high school knowing you have a partial scholarship to college, how could you not be more invested in your education? You've got the money, now you just need to grades, right?

Do you think Boland has the right idea? Share your opinion on this plan in the comments section!


CMM5024 said...

I think Boland has a terrific idea here. Putting students in charge of their futures this way will encourage responsible behavior and possibly even higher graduation rates. It gives students hope.

Yes, funding will be difficult, but Boland can look to Indiana for guidance-- the 21st Century Scholars program provides FOUR years of tuition for students. Plus, I like the ideas suggested in the article-- higher penalties for DUIs, an option to donate tax refunds, etc.

Carleigh McKenna
Cramster blog
twitter: @Cramster

Betty said...

Working towards a year of free tuition might inspire a lot of students to pay attention in class and might also stop a lot of the behavior problems. Some kids are so programmed to misbehave by the time they are in eighth grade that it seems to come naturally for them. This type of funding makes more sense to me than all of the money spent on testing.

Teachhub said...

For a minute, I thought I might be taken in by political propaganda, but it's reassuring to know I'm not the only one.