New data released by the district’s Diploma+ College and Career Readiness program shows high school seniors generated 5,466 scholarship offers this school year. This totals more than $120 million from 23 different colleges and universities with our Scholarship Initiative Program.
“This has certainly been an amazing year for the Diploma+ team. The hard work of our campus-based staff and high school students are to be commended,” said Dr. LaShonda Bilbo-Ervin, Director of Diploma+.
The scholarships surpassed last year’s award offers by more than $45 million. The increase is attributed to the new initiatives the district implemented this year. The district implemented a program called Financing College Nights, which was held at all five high school locations for students and their families. Students were able to obtain information and resources pertaining to their eligibility for financial aid and the process for applying. This event contributed to 54% of seniors completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); The average in Kansas is 45%.
“The data shows that the initiatives that we implemented produced the desired outcomes. Our College Fair, held in October, allowed our 12th graders to have access to 54 colleges and universities. Some students receive college acceptance right there on the spot,” Dr. Ervin said.
The application process can be an intimidating and cumbersome task for many students. A large part of securing funds is the ability to craft an essay that tells the applicant’s story and how the funds will assist them in reaching their educational goals. The process can even be as overwhelming for parents trying to apply for scholarships that align to their child’s talents. If an effort to remove some of those barriers, the Diploma+ team held Winning Writing Workshops for juniors and seniors to help prepare them for writing scholarship essays. The workshops were held on Wednesdays at every high school with assistance from the professionals who read the essays and determine the recipients of the funding.
The workshops were a success with 743 scholarship applications and essays being completed, totaling nearly $3 million in scholarship dollars for KCKPS students.
“I am proud of our Diploma+ team, and what they are doing throughout the district is translating into long-term student growth,” said Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust. “All students deserve to have the best quality of education possible, and a college degree further advances their access to a better quality of life. Our students and their families are taking advantage of the programs and resources that are a significant component in preparing them for college.
Posted June 16. 2020