University News

'Say Yes to Education' Partnership Supports Low- and Middle-income Families

First-Generation Students Student Life Your Finances
January 24, 2019

Denison University is proud to continue its partnership with the New York-based Say Yes to Education program as it expands its reach into Cleveland. Say Yes to Education is a leading, national nonprofit organization that partners with communities to further the goal of making a college degree affordable and attainable for every public high school graduate.

As part of the expanded partnership, Denison guarantees to provide full tuition in grant aid to all students from families with annual incomes below $75,000 (slightly higher than the U.S. national median household income) who attend Denison after graduating from participating high schools. The expansion of Say Yes to Education into Cleveland covers students at all public high schools in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Denison Vice President for Enrollment Management Greg Sneed says, “Denison has worked with Say Yes to Education for many years in New York and North Carolina. We are thrilled to continue our partnership supporting low- and middle-income families from the public schools in Cleveland.”

In addition to offering college scholarships, Say Yes to Education partner communities provide students with the support services (academic, social-emotional, and health-and-wellness — from early childhood through grade 12) to ensure they are prepared to succeed in earning a college degree or other postsecondary credential.

Denison already supports Ohio students in the Columbus area through a similar program, the Denison-Columbus Alliance, which provides full tuition and mentoring support to outstanding graduates from low- and middle-income backgrounds in Columbus City Schools. The college partners with the Columbus-based I Know I Can organization to provide early guidance and support to college-bound students.

“We are working hard to make our life-changing education available to all highly motivated and qualified students. We have provided significant financial support to low-income students for many years, and I am excited to further expand our support for students from middle-class families,” said Sneed.

Say Yes to Education was founded by money manager George Weiss nearly 32 years ago. In the three decades since more than 13,000 public school students have gone off to two- and four-year institutions, as well as certificate-granting programs, with support from Say Yes to Education, its partner communities, and its partner colleges and universities.

“Our new partners in Cleveland recognize that it requires an enormous investment to raise the aspirations of all students, many of them seeking to become the first in their families to attend college – and, more importantly, to graduate,” Weiss said. “There is the obvious financial commitment. But fulfilling that promise also requires community buy-in, a willingness to believe that all children can succeed if they are given not only the opportunity, but the necessary support. That includes tutoring and mentoring, as well as services to improve their health and social-emotional well-being.”

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