NEODESHA — Some Neodesha High School students breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday. A scholarship opportunity for qualifying NHS graduates was announced during a special assembly.

The Neodesha Promise scholarship program will provide meaningful financial support for every qualified Neodesha High School graduate to attend any US Pell Grant-approved college, community college or technical school of their choice.

The announcement took place at Neodesha High School in front of several local and state representatives, including Randy Watson, Commissioner of Education, as well as leaders and media outlets from across Kansas.

Advisory Board Member and Neodesha native Don Adams opened the ceremony with a statement of gratitude and appreciation to the Marilyn Cram Cutler Charitable Foundation for its endowment to the Neodesha community. The actual funding from the Marilyn Cram Cutler Charitable Foundation will pass through the Neodesha Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

The ceremony proceeded to provide eligibility requirements and program details.

“The scholarship award will cover tuition and mandatory fees for up to 120 credit hours of study for a bachelor’s degree and up to 60 credit hours of study for an associate’s degree or technical certification,” said Juanita Erickson, Neodesha school district superintendent. Awards will be capped at the highest tuition of a Kansas public college for in-state students, which is currently the University of Kansas.

“Qualifying students must be on track to graduate from Neodesha High School, have completed the Neodesha Promise Scholarship application, and be a resident of the USD 461 school district. Students must be in ‘good standing’ and will be required to submit a FAFSA application, and complete the required community service obligation,” concluded Erickson.

Neodesha will be the first Kansas community to adopt a PromiseNet college scholarship program for bachelor/associate degrees or technical certification. Started over 15 years ago in Kalamazoo, Mich., by a grant from a small group of anonymous donors, a scholarship model was created to award scholarships to any qualifying graduate of the Kalamazoo school system. Over 100 other communities have since adopted similar programs.

The Neodesha Promise scholarship is designed to enhance students’ preparation for completing their chosen post-secondary education pathway. 

“We envision many more students taking advantage of postsecondary educational opportunities and hopefully also enhancing the Neodesha community as an attractive place to live and work,” said Adams.

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