Promise Gets More Promising At SCSU

Markeshia Ricks PhotosTen New Haven Promise “scholars” — public school students receiving scholarships to cover their college tuition — heading off to Southern Connecticut State University next fall could have their housing expenses for their first year at school covered in addition to their tuition.

SCSU President Joe Bertolino joined officials at City Hall Wednesday to announce the Promise Community Ambassador Scholarship program. The program will provide housing scholarships to 10 first-year New Haven Promise Scholars starting with the class of 2018. Students applying for traditional Promise scholarships will be able to apply for the Southern program by writing an essay and providing a letter of recommendation.

“It is an honor for me and for Southern to help advance the vital work of the New Promise Scholars program to ensure that a college degree becomes attainable for all the city’s students,” Bertolino said. “To-date Southern has more Promise scholars — 339 — than any other university in the state.

“We take great pride in that and this new leadership development program will build on that success story,” he added.

Bertolino said the students —the first 10 will be selected in May— will be known as “Promise community ambassadors.” In addition to participating in the university’s Freshman Leadership Experience, or FLEX, program, five of the scholars will be responsible for helping to build relationships and connections among current Promise scholars. The other five ambassadors will focus on community outreach and education for New Haven high school students.

Mayor Toni Harp said the new scholarship program will expand educational opportunities for New Haven students and increase access to post-secondary education for the city’s high school students.

“Since 2010, New Haven Promise has given students the incentive to achieve and the wherewithal for hundreds of New Haven students to go to college, advance their education and improve their prospects for a productive career and life,” she said.

New Haven Promise scholarships are funded by Yale University. The scholarships help cover the cost of tuition for New Haven students who maintain a 3.0-grade point average, have good attendance and volunteer.

But students often still need additional help to defray the other costs of obtaining a higher education. Starting last year, New Haven Promise Scholars attending the University of Connecticut were eligible for a renewable grant to help further defray the costs of attending that university.

Iline Tracey, director of instruction for New Haven Public Schools, said it made her especially proud that New Haven students will have further assistance in affording school. A self-described, proud graduate of SCSU, she called the new scholarship program, and the forthcoming 21st Century Communications Magnet and Lab School being built on the university’s campus, “trailblazing.”

“We’ve been in real partnership for a long time,” she said. “And I say thank you for helping to blaze this trail for young people.”

“Southern is your public university here in your backyard,” Bertolino said. “We are here to partner with you. We are here to serve. We are here to be in and of the community so we invite you to come visit with us, to see us and more importantly when you are looking for a partner like New Haven Promise, we are here to help in that partnership.”

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posted by: THREEFIFTHS on December 7, 2017  8:42am

A lot of young people told me they are geting the hell out of this state and going to New York under this program call Excelsior Scholarship. They told me it does not cover expenses like housing or books.but thye told me they have found housing and jobs already.

The Excelsior Scholarship is Leading the Way to College Affordability

On April 8, 2017, it was announced that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship, a first-of-its-kind in the nation program, will provide tuition-free college at New York’s public colleges and universities to families making up to $125,000 a year. The first-in-the-nation plan will be phased in over three years, beginning for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually in the fall of 2017, $110,000 in 2018, and $125,000 in 2019. The Budget additionally includes $8 million to provide open educational resources, including e-books, to students at SUNY and CUNY colleges to help defray the prohibitive cost of textbooks.

posted by: JCFremont on December 7, 2017  8:00pm

Hopefully Yale will teach these “Promisors” that the university is not a bottomless well of money. I WILL not be surprised in a few more years that the city will try to lessen the criteria and Yale will push back.

posted by: 1644 on December 7, 2017  10:39pm

Okay, these are essentially state tax dollars, collected from all the state’s taxpayers, most not in New Haven, being used for a program open only to New Haven residents.  Moreover, of all the students needing housing aid, I would guess those who already live in the city where SCSU is are those least in need of housing.  So, why, especially as CSU’s state aid is being reduced?