Talk about a surprise!
Kent State University plans to give students who are members of the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I PROMISE network, free tuition for 4 years, Fox 5 DC news reports.
LeBron James opened his I PROMISE school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio in 2018. By 2019, 90% of the school’s inaugural class had already met or exceeded academic goals. James then pledged full academic scholarships to the University of Akron for students who continued to excel and added transitional housing to the school’s campus.
Now the school is continuing to set the bar high through their partnership with Kent State University. The new free tuition program is an extension of the partnership they already have with the I PROMISE students, offering free summer enrichment college prep programs to students who are a part of the foundation’s network.
Melody Tankersley, Interim Senior Vice President and Provost at Kent State issued a statement about the partnership expansion saying, “We have already seen the impressive results that the I PROMISE Network is having on its participating students. We are so pleased that Kent State will become the next step in the educational journey of these amazing young people, and so happy that we can start them on their way to exciting careers and lives full of inspiration.”
Kent State has promised free tuition for four years as well as free housing and meal plans for the first year in the program. Eligible students are those in their junior year of high school at I PROMISE, which consists of 193 students. The students must first gain acceptance into Kent State, have completed a certain number of community service hours per semester, and apply for financial aid. Once the students receive their financial aid, Kent State will cover any outstanding tuition fees.
The funding is good for 4 years at the University, provided students maintain good academic standing, complete the minimum requirement for credit hours yearly and participate in community service and volunteer opportunities.
“The I PROMISE program is built on the ‘earned not given’ philosophy. We are so excited that our students that have worked incredibly hard have earned even more life-changing opportunities to grow and excel,” said Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation.
Kent State President Todd Diacon issued a statement echoing these sentiments, saying, “We are so pleased to take our partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to this next level and welcome these students fully into the Kent State family.”
The foundation took to Twitter to share reactions from the students when they heard the news with the caption, “When you show up to @KentState for your 11th grade experience outing, but find out you’re also getting FREE tuition for 4 years AND a year of free room & board!”
Congratulations to all the students! You have worked hard for this!
Photo Courtesy of LeBron James Family Foundation