UT partners with Tigers, offers millions in scholarship dollars to Michigan students

August 4, 2010 | News, UToday
By Jon Strunk

The University of Toledo is teaming up with the Detroit Tigers to help make college more affordable for Michigan students and will announce the new partnership at a special presentation Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 1:30 p.m. at Comerica Park.

Leaders and guidance counselors from high schools across Michigan have been invited to attend and learn more about the UT Guarantee, which includes information on how to qualify for Ohio in-state tuition rates and a new scholarship program — the Scholarly Savings Account — designed to prepare students for college at an early age.

UT also will unveil ongoing discussions with Southgate Economic Development Group intended to provide education and retraining for adults negatively impacted by declining manufacturing trends in Michigan and the recession. Online learning — an area where UT excels — would be a large component of the agreement. A possible satellite campus also is being discussed.

The Scholarly Savings Account Program is an innovative effort that, beginning in 2010, UT will make as many as five annual deposits of $2,000 into individual student scholarship accounts with the successful completion of the eighth grade and for completion of each year of high school and any pre-established requirements the school district may require.

“The Detroit Tigers organization has long used its influence to promote noble causes in Detroit and across the state, and we’re proud to join with them to promote that goal,” said Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs and interim vice president for equity and diversity. “But we’re also counting on their talents on the field, as $100 is deposited in the Scholarly Savings Account Program every time a Tiger pitcher strikes out an opposing team’s batter.”

“The Detroit Tigers organization is proud to partner with The University of Toledo and commend their efforts in forwarding the education of high school students in the state of Michigan,” said Ron Colangelo, Tigers vice president of communications. “The UT program demonstrates the importance of preparing students at an early age to set and hopefully achieve their goals in life.”

For students to be eligible, they must graduate with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and meet core curriculum criteria for regular admission to UT. At the same time, their school districts must sign a participation agreement with UT that includes the development of their own requirements and an annual tracking process.

Upon graduation from high school, a student could have accumulated a maximum of $10,000 through the Scholarly Savings Program that can be used toward tuition at UT. The scholarship funds will be disbursed in annual increments of $2,500 for four years of attendance at the University.

“A student who may believe a college education isn’t affordable might not put as much effort into their education,” Burns said. “By reaching out to students in the eighth grade, we’re telling them that if they work hard in school, the money will be there when the time comes.”

The Scholarly Savings Account Program is available to any school in the nation, though Burns emphasized that the school district, not just individual students, must sign up.

“We want to partner with school districts and let them set appropriate standards for their students,” he said.

UT officials believe that this program will result in improved high school graduation rates and better prepare students for the rigor of a college education whether they ultimately choose UT or another university.

School districts with questions or that are interested in joining the Scholarly Savings Account Program are encouraged to contact Kevin Kucera, UT associate vice president for enrollment services, at 419.530.5742.

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