Next class of city students to begin college as New Haven Promise scholars

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President Peter Salovey with Michelle Soto '16 and New Haven Promise Scholars Maya Levine-Ritterman '17, Devin Mahoney '16, and Erin Cofrancesco Yale '16. (Chris Volpe Photography)

A record number of New Haven high school seniors have qualified for and accepted college scholarships as part of the New Haven Promise, a Yale-funded program that helps city residents from a public school in the city to attend college in Connecticut.

The newest cohort of scholarship recipients were celebrated at the Omni Hotel on Aug. 7 at an event attended by Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, Connecticut Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Superintendent of New Haven Public Schools Garth Harries, and Yale President Peter Salovey, among others.

For the Class of 2013, nearly 500 seniors from New Haven public and charter high schools applied for New Haven Promise scholarships, and more than 200 of them met scholarship qualifications. Another 20 will soon be accepted into Passport to Promise, a new scholarship benefit expanding opportunities for students whose grade-point-averages are trending up. In all, more than 160 members of the Class of 2013 New Haven students are projected to accepted and receive New Haven Promise benefits this fall.

New Haven Promise scholarships pay up to full tuition at in-state public colleges and universities and up to $2,500 at in-state private, non-profit colleges and universities. To earn a scholarship, students must live in New Haven and attend New Haven public schools. In high school, they must earn at least a 3.0 grade point average, have a 90% attendance record, a positive disciplinary record, and complete 40 hours of community service.

The New Haven Promise program was launched in 2010 to encourage more students to complete high school and attend college. Yale is a primary donor for the scholarships. The program was launched in partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and the City of New Haven as part of its New Haven School Change Initiative to enhance the academic performance of city students.

This year’s pool of New Haven Promise applicants are enrolling at 15 colleges and universities across the state this fall. The most popular choices are the University of Connecticut, Southern Connecticut State University, Central Connecticut State University, and Gateway Community College. The applicants contributed a total of 24,646 hours of community service during high school.

“This is a dynamic, talented, diverse group of students with limitless potential,” says Patricia Melton, executive director of New Haven Promise. “We look forward to working with and supporting these scholars as they earn their college degrees and develop into the future leaders of New Haven.”

The New Haven Promise Scholarship has been phased in over the past few years with the Class of 2014 being the first class to receive the full benefit. This year’s scholars receive up to 75% of the scholarship benefit.

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