(by Andrea Cordle, Southwest Editor - February 07, 2009)
Students in the South-Western City School District will now have even more options after graduation.
The district has collaborated with The University of Toledo to be part of their UT Guarantee program. The partnership was announced at the Jan. 26 Board of Education meeting.
In the program, the university would give full-tuition scholarships, after state and federal aid, to qualifying students in the district. William Pierce, director of admissions technology at UT, said that in order to qualify, the student must be a senior in high school, apply for admission by April 1, have a minimum 3.0 grade point average, and file a FAFSA by April 1 and show Pell grant eligibility. Pierce explained that students might still get scholarships, even if they receive a lower amount Pell grant.
“We do not want finances to be a problem,” said Pierce. “That is why the university started the program.”
Students can renew their scholarship throughout four years if they maintain an annual 3.0 university grade point average, complete 30 credit hours a year and file a FAFSA annually by April 1.
Pierce said this is not only incentive for high school students, but also younger ones.
“We want to see students do well and continue to do well,” said Pierce. “The message is, if you push yourself and you do well, you get a full scholarship to UT.”
This is the first year of the UT Guarantee program. The Columbus City School district is already on board with the program. It was also offered to students throughout Ohio.
District administrators have praised the program.
“We recognize times are tough and maybe mom and dad don’t have enough money to send these kids to school right now,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise. “This is an opportunity to help out.”
Pierce said once the details of the partnership with South-Western are worked out, staff members from the university would travel to the district to talk to the students about the opportunity.
“I look forward to delivering this to our students,” said Wise.
For additional information on the UT Guarantee program, visit the UT scholarship Web site.
In other news, four teachers in the district were recognized as national board certified teachers.
According to Deputy Superintendent Phil Warner, the process the teachers have to go through for this certification is “very vigorous.” Those awarded include Shannon Patterson with Park Street Intermediate, Melanie Retterer with Brookpark, Jane Stark with Jackson Middle School and Kelly Williams with Park Street.