University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Keeping the Promise for 10 years: El Dorado celebrates a decade of supporting student scholarships

In The View from the OEP on February 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

Imagine someone promised you a scholarship to any accredited public or private educational institution in the U.S. and the only requirement was to graduate from high school.

A program in El Dorado has been keeping that promise to students for ten years!  And over 2,000 students have furthered their education on the Promise.

promiseThe El Dorado Promise program is a $50 million scholarship program established and funded by the Murphy Oil Corporation in January 2007 and modeled after the Kalamazoo Promise. The program provides every graduate of El Dorado High School who has been enrolled in the El Dorado Public School district since at least ninth grade with up to $40,000 of tuition who has been enrolled in the El Dorado Public School district since at least ninth grade.   Students can use the scholarship to attend any accredited two-year or four-year, public or private educational institution in the U.S.

Last night, Gov. Hutchinson and Claiborne Deming from Murphy Oil Corp joined parents, students, teachers, and school officials to celebrate the Promise’s 10th birthday

Liz Murray, was the keynote speaker and her speech was amazing!.  She was homeless at age 15 and completed her degree at Harvard in 2009.

promise_speaker_002_t311Photo from El Dorado News

Outcomes from the Promise include higher college attendance rates among graduates, increased participation in Advanced Placement courses and increased enrollment in El Dorado Public Schools.  Promise scholars have attend 129 different colleges in 29 states, and many return to El Dorado high school to share their college experiences.  In fact, ten have brought the Promise home and returned to El Dorado to work in the district.

We are excited to see continuing stories about the El Dorado Promise!

 

 

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