University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

The Promise of the El Dorado Promise

In The View from the OEP on February 3, 2012 at 9:47 am

A rural school district in southeast Arkansas was highlighted in a national education publication this week for their innovative program that has increased graduation rates, test scores, and enrollment. The El Dorado Promise, which started five years ago, promises graduates of El Dorado Public Schools the opportunity to attend the college of their choice without the burden of tuition. The program is funded by Murphy Oil Corporation and has had a significant impact on students in the area. Despite being located in the part of the state that has experienced declining enrollment, El Dorado’s student body is growing. College enrollment is up and drop-out rates are down.

El Dorado PromiseEl Dorado students are eligible for up to approximately $7,000 annually to be put toward tuition and living expenses as long as the students meet the following requirements:

  • Enrollment in a bachelor’s or associate’s degree program,
  • 2.0 cumulative GPA, and
  • full time status in the degree program.

Students who attend all 13 years of their schooling in El Dorado will receive 100% of the available funds.

The Office for Education Policy is currently in the process of conducting a full evaluation of the program. So far, we have been impressed with the early results. Of course, we are always grateful to hear good news about Arkansas schools in the national news.

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