Thousands of Duval County public school students who have the desire but lack the resources to continue their educations beyond high school may qualify for a full scholarship at one of Jacksonville’s private or public colleges and universities. The presidents of Edward Waters College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida have agreed to offer scholarships to program eligible students who meet the academic standards to attend their institutions.
The program, called The Jacksonville Commitment, is a partnership among the four Jacksonville colleges and universities, the Duval County Public Schools and City of Jacksonville. “If Jacksonville is going to prosper, we must ensure that our citizens are well educated,” said Nat Glover, the former Jacksonville sheriff and current president of Edward Waters College. “Too many high school students don’t think a college degree is possible because of the cost. The Jacksonville Commitment is our way, the community’s way, of eliminating the cost barrier.”
Mayor John Peyton has pledged $2 million in scholarships for The Jacksonville Commitment. In addition, the four colleges raise private support to compliment the city’s funding. “This is the best possible investment for a strong Jacksonville,” Mayor Peyton said. “An educated workforce ensures a robust economy. We want to raise the per capita income in Jacksonville, and this is a great way to achieve that goal.”
To help students meet the requirements, Jacksonville Commitment College Advisors work in the public high schools. These Commitment College Advisors encourage students to take prep courses for the college entrance exam and help them apply to college. FSCJ, JU, UNF and EWC are also helping to fund the program through existing scholarships and will be building their endowments for perpetual funding for the program.
UNF, EWC and JU will fund the cost of a four-year degree, including books, tuition and fees. FSCJ will guarantee the cost of a two-year degree. Students transferring to UNF, JU or EWC will be eligible to receive the final two years of Commitment scholarships as they seek to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
Maurice Jones-Drew, the dynamic, all-purpose back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, is throwing his weight behind higher education by urging kids to stay in school and to get a college degree. Jones-Drew contacted the University of North Florida to express his interest in promoting the importance of higher education in Duval County. A role model for youth both on and off the field, he was a natural choice as a spokesperson for The Jacksonville Commitment.
Maurice Jones-Drew Public Service Announcement
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