The University of Connecticut is committing a $5,000 annual scholarship to all qualifying Hartford Public High School graduates who plan to attend UConn.
To qualify, students must be participants of the Hartford Promise program, which means enrolled in Hartford Public Schools since at least 9th grade, graduating with a 3.0 grade point average and meeting attendance goals.
The Hartford Promise program offers a $5,000 scholarship and UConn is pledging to match that amount, thus doubling the scholarship for UConn-bound graduates.
The Hartford Promise program, following the New Haven Promise program, gives inner city students an opportunity for higher education at a more affordable cost. UConn matched the New Haven Program scholarship in early December 2015.
UConn President Susan Herbst announced the commitment on January 12 at the Hartford Public Library, based in Hartford Public High School. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, Hartford Promise Executive Director Richard Sugarman, Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez and several other legislators and program founders joined her.
About 150 Hartford High School seniors are expected to receive the scholarship starting this fall.
“UConn has long had a special relationship with Hartford as our state’s capital city and the home of many of our talented students, dedicated alumni and strong supporters in state government and corporations,” Herbst said. “This investment in the future of Hartford’s high-performing students is also an investment in UConn. Their enthusiasm, diversity and life experiences enrich the University as a whole.”
The program helps the large population of students of color, first-generation students and those from households with a lower income of less than $60,000.
Communication professor Susan Grantham discussed the implications of the scholarship to her public relations students, saying that taxpayers might be wary of UConn’s pledge, even if it does benefit the University and Connecticut.
The commitment coincides with the new downtown Hartford UConn campus, which plans to open in 2017.
UConn hopes the new campus will spur interest in their programs. There are no limits on Hartford Promise scholars who will benefit from UConn’s scholarship.
"At Hartford Public Schools, we have a plan to make college a real option for every child in the City of Hartford by providing the necessary support in academics and finding ways to remove financial barriers so that 100 percent of our students can go to college if they choose to do so,” Schiavino-Narvaez said.
The Hartford Promise program continues to seek donations to support future classes. The UConn Foundation has established a fund for donors to support the partnership.
“This is exactly the kind of partnership that will transform hundreds of kids’ lives and over time transform our community,” Sugarman said. “We hope and expect this partnership to serve as a model for many other colleges and universities going forward.”
Claire Galvin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.