LANSING – Olivet College will offer an annual $14,000 scholarship to eligible Lansing high school graduates beginning this fall.
The small liberal arts school 30 miles outside of Lansing is joining the Lansing Promise. It will be the only private school where Lansing grads can use their Promise dollars. The other eligible schools are Lansing Community College and Michigan State University.
Olivet will give eligible students the $14,000 scholarships on top of the roughly $1,400 per-semester they are eligible to receive as Promise scholars, said Justin Sheehan, executive director of the scholarship program.
“I was shocked, said Jillian Johnson, a senior at Lansing’s Everett High School. She picked Olivet before the partnership was announced and will be eligible to receive as much as $56,000 in scholarships over four years. She plans on playing volleyball for Olivet, which won her over with its smaller class sizes.
Olivet’s undergrad population is around 1,000 students, significantly smaller than either LCC or MSU, which had 16,000 and 38,700 undergrads enrolled in fall 2014, respectively, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
The Lansing Promise offers scholarships to students who live within the boundaries of the Lansing School District and graduate from one of the city’s four high schools; Everett, Sexton, Eastern, or Lansing Catholic.
Lansing School District Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul, a 1973 Olivet graduate, said the addition of Olivet bridges the gap between a community college like LCC and the enormous campus size of MSU. She credited her alma mater for her completion of her undergraduate degree, which she said might not have happened at a larger college.
“Olivet is a family you have with you for the rest of your lives,” Caamal Canul said.
Students must live on-campus to be eligible for the college’s scholarship, which Olivet President Steven Corey said is ideal.
“Residential students receive the best value for their investment and get the highest-quality experience,” Corey said.
The money from Lansing Promise has no such requirements.
Corey and Kellie Dean, chair of the Lansing Promise Zone Authority Board, signed off on the partnership during a Wednesday press conference inside the Lansing School District’s administration building.
The $14,000 scholarship from Olivet brings total expenses for students who live on campus below the cost of attending Michigan State University without a scholarship, something Corey said was key.
The total cost of attending Olivet last year was $37,182, whereas in-state students at MSU ponied up $26,048, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Working to retain Promise scholarship students will also be important, Corey said. Of the full-time students who started their first-year at Olivet in the fall of 2013, 59% returned in the fall of 2014. That rate was 59% at LCC and 92% at MSU.
The Olivet scholarship covers students during their time as full-time residential students. The Promise pays for up to 60 credits at LCC or $5,000 in assistance to attend MSU or Olivet. Students must first fill out federal financial aid forms before receiving Promise assistance.
Corey said between 30 and 40 Lansing students have expressed an interest, although it’s not yet known how many will be attending Olivet in the fall. More than 500 Lansing graduates have received Promise dollars, Dean said during the press conference. Total scholarship awards are expected to top $1 million by years’ end, he added.
Lansing schools won’t know the number of eligible students until after graduation next month.
Read more: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2016/05/25/olivet-college-joins-lansing-promise-offers-14000-scholarships/84841222/
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This post was written by Lansing Promise