This spring the RAND Corporation released a report on the early progress of New Haven Promise and the major takeaway was that a “college-going” culture was taking root in the Elm City. Now the city’s high school Class of 2015 has demonstrated the veracity of those findings.
“As sports reporters are fond of saying, we will have to rewrite the record book,” said Patricia Melton, the Executive Director of New Haven Promise. “We have 253 students who have been approved for the Promise scholarship, which is nearly 50 more than ever before.”
More than half of the recipients come from the city’s three largest high schools — Hillhouse (54), Wilbur Cross (46) and Career (43). The Class of 2015 scholars are also reflective of the district’s racial makeup. African-American students comprise 51 percent of the awardees while Hispanics represent 31 percent and whites 12 percent.
For the first time, 40 percent of the recipients are males. “The first three cohorts were more than two-thirds females,” said Melton. “Last year, as a result of targeted efforts, that percentage jumped to 37 and now we’ve hit 41 percent. We are very happy with the dramatic increases involving male students.”
There is striking news as it relates to minority males. Eighty-one black and Hispanic males were approved for Promise Scholarships this year, 24 more than ever before. African-American males account for 49 of the scholars, a huge leap from the 2013 record of 32.
There is additional evidence that this cohort is an extremely ambitious one. While Promise requires a 3.0 grade-point average and at least 40 hours of community service, the 253 scholars averaged a 3.6 GPA and 83 hours of service.
The 2015 cohort will be New Haven Promise’s fifth class and, in all, 971 scholars have now qualified. While in-state scholars receive financial benefit from Promise, programming focused on paid internships and leadership are now available to all recipients, regardless of their college choice.
The new cohort will be feted at the annual New Haven Promise Scholar Celebration, to be held at the Omni New Haven Hotel on August 13.
For a full list of the 2015 New Haven Promise Scholars, please click here.