Cleveland is on track to honor its mission to make college affordable for every student. How will this move affect public and private institutions across the country? Will there be additional pressures to produce more tuition-free college options in every state?
College will be free for virtually all Cleveland school district graduates starting with this year’s senior class, after the much-anticipated launch today of the Say Yes to Education college scholarship and student support program in the city. A team of city, county, philanthropic and Say Yes leaders announced the scholarships at a rally at John Marshall High School to cheering students this morning, pledging that the ever-increasing cost of tuition will no longer block Cleveland school district graduates from attending college. Officials have already raised more than 70 percent of the $125 million they need to pay for scholarships for the next 25 years. Though students and families will still have to pay living expenses, the new Say Yes scholarships will cover all remaining tuition costs once federal and state aid is used. “Today, we are guaranteeing that your dreams can come true,” school district CEO Eric Gordon told students.
With 70% of the $125 million raised to fund scholarships over the next 25 years, this noble effort demonstrates what is possible when stakeholders rally around a common, unifying goal.