The University of Toledo already has committed more than $26 million to more than 13,000 ninth-grade Ohio students across 67 districts and, with the help of the Columbus Blue Jackets, UT hopes to let Columbus-area students know a top-tier, affordable higher education is a reality.UT junior and Gahanna Lincoln High School graduate Max Gold joined Larry Hoepfner, Blue Jackets executive vice president of business operations, Jeff Chambers from the Ohio School Boards Association, and UT enrollment leaders to speak with teachers and school leaders last week at Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL hockey team.
“The Columbus Blue Jackets start recruiting their fans at a young age and at The University of Toledo, we’re trying to do the same,” said Larry Burns, vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity. “By letting students know as early as eighth grade that college is an option, you change the trajectory of the way they view their class work throughout their college career.”
“We’re very excited to partner with The University of Toledo to help build awareness of the school’s diverse offerings and encourage central Ohio students and their parents to learn about the tremendous financial advantages associated with the Scholarly Savings Account program,” Hoepfner said.
Beginning last year, UT offered every Ohio school district the chance to sign up for the Scholarly Savings Account, a scholarship program that promised five annual $2,000 deposits beginning in eighth grade. To receive the accrued funds, a student must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA at the end of his or her senior year, and enroll at UT.
“Every day we’re reaching out to more districts and when you combine that with the second annual deposit for students from districts who’ve already signed up, The University of Toledo’s investment in Columbus students and students across Ohio will more than double,” Burns said.
“Even if they ultimately choose not to attend UT, students are more likely to attend college somewhere if they’re taking more rigorous courses and taking academics more seriously. And they know if they keep their grades up, they’ll have $10,000 to go toward a degree at UT,” he said.
UT also is promoting its Blue and Gold Scholar Program, which covers tuition and fees for all Ohio students who are Pell-grant eligible and graduate with at least a 3.0 GPA.
“If you work hard, you can attend a great university and get a great education,” Burns said. “No student should be denied an education because they couldn’t afford it.”
School districts that would like more information on how to sign up for the Scholarly Savings Account Program can contact John Adams, UT senior director of enrollment brand strategy, at 419.530.2676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.