Promise offers a new path to becoming a Promise Scholar

The vision of the founders of New Haven Promise — to create and foster a college-going culture within the City’s public schools — has met with such demand in 2013 that the organization’s Board of Directors has opted to open yet another door of opportunity for students.

In addition to the traditional path for Promise Scholars, a new stream of support from Yale University, the Gateway Community College Foundation and Southern Connecticut State University Foundation will allow for 20 additional students to earn an opportunity to become a New Haven Promise Scholar after a successful first year of college.

The 20 scholarships, called Passport to Promise, will be worth $1,000 each, and are made possible by Yale’s $10,000 donation; Gateway’s $5,000 donation and Southern’s $5,000 donation.

“Passport to Promise is designed to reward students who have built a strong foundation for success,” said Patricia Melton, the Executive Director of New Haven Promise. “The qualifications for the Promise program have been made intentionally rigorous, but we also want to recognize and incentivize students who have significantly improved their grades over the course of their high school career and who potentially will continue on the path to success in college and beyond.”

“…we also want to recognize and incentivize students who have significantly improved their grades over the course of their high school career…”

“I want to thank Patricia for her leadership on this new competitive scholarship,” said Dr. Dorsey Kendrick, Gateway Community College President. “Gateway Community College is proud to be a partner in this life-changing initiative. This new competitive scholarship sends the message that all of us here today care deeply about the students who will benefit from this, and all of the other opportunities offered through the New Haven Promise.”

The 20 students will become Promise Scholars after their freshman year if they maintain required academic standards. Promise Scholars receive up to full tuition scholarships at in-state public schools or up to $2,500 at in-state private non-profit colleges or universities.

“Connecticut’s economy is increasingly knowledge-based and by the year 2020, 67% of all jobs in this state will require a career certificate or college degree,” said Mary Papazian, president of Southern Connecticut State University. “Providing additional Promise scholarships will help ensure that more qualified New Haven students have the opportunity to pursue higher education and achieve their career goals.”

“The college persistence rate for New Haven Promise scholars is higher than that of the general student population at Southern Connecticut State University,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “What this tells us is that with the support New Haven Promise provides, students are not only able to enter college, but remain in college and graduate. This expansion of New Haven Promise is a great development that will help additional young people succeed in college and in life.”

To be eligible for Passport to Promise, students must live in New Haven, attend New Haven public schools, have 90% attendance, complete 40 hours of community service and have a positive disciplinary record. The competitive scholarship requires a 2.5-2.9 GPA and students must show academic improvement during their high school career.

To apply for Passport to Promise, students must complete an online application, which includes an essay and a teacher recommendation, both which should showcase the student’s work ethic and resource-seeking skills. The deadline is May 31.

“This new opportunity for New Haven’s students embodies the spirit of Promise to create greater access to higher education for those who work hard and persevere. Opening the New Haven Promise door to college a bit wider in this way is an important step forward,” said William W. Ginsberg, president & CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

“This new opportunity for New Haven’s students embodies the spirit of Promise to create greater access to higher education for those who work hard and persevere.”

“New Haven Promise is making a real difference in the lives of so many students. This new, competitive scholarship will help 20 additional students who stepped up their game in high school pursue their dream of a college education,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Mayo. “We want all of our students to have the tools and knowledge to succeed in college and career. New Haven Promise is making that happen.”

The Class of 2013 application rates for the Promise scholarship has been extremely strong. In all, 486 members of the Class have applied this year, a 38-percent increase from 2012. Eleven of the 13 public high schools in the City featured an increase in applicants as did 21 of the City’s 30 wards. Additionally, there was an increase among male applicants, soaring from 116 in 2012 to 193 in 2013. The rise in applicants was noticed in every corner of the City and with students of every background. View a breakdown of applicants by ward, high school and demographic data.

“It is gratifying to see such a significant increase this year in the number of applicants for New Haven Promise scholarships,” said President Richard C. Levin. “Yale is pleased to support the new initiative to give additional students incentive and the opportunity to earn scholarships. We look forward to more of our high school students reaching their full potential through the inspiration of the New Haven Promise.”

New Haven Promise — a first-of-its-kind program in Connecticut — is a location-based tuition scholarship for residents and graduates of New Haven public schools. Promise is revitalizing the City of New Haven by elevating educational attainment, cultivating a culture of college-readiness and promoting community and parental engagement. Promise is proudly supported and funded by Yale University, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Wells Fargo.

View a breakdown of applicants by ward, high school and other demographic data.

Learn more and apply now for Passport to Promise

View photos from this event on Flickr or Facebook

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