Kent State University and LeBron James are joining forces to provide free college tuition to almost 200 high school students.
In a presentation on Wednesday, Kent State President Todd Diacon said 193 high school juniors in the oldest I PROMISE Network class will be eligible for the school's offer as college freshmen in the 2021-2022 academic year, WKYC reports. The offer includes free tuition for four years and free room and board for one year.
“We are so excited that our students that have worked incredibly hard and have earned even more life-changing opportunities to grow and excel. We are so thankful to the entire Kent State family for believing in our students and providing exactly the type of programming and support they need to be successful not only in school, but in life,” said Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation, according to cleveland.com.
The Ohio school costs about $11,000 per semester for in-state students, meaning James' foundation and the school are covering millions in costs for the program.
The LeBron James Family Foundation established the I Promise Network and has been working with public schools in Akron. In order to cover fees not included in the program, the foundation and school have started a fundraising drive to help the students with any other costs they may incur while attending the university.
“These students have diligently applied themselves since becoming part of the first I PROMISE class as third-graders and have already shown impressive results. They have earned this opportunity and we are celebrating the chance to welcome them to Kent State,” said Melody Tankersley, interim senior vice president and provost.
Kent State University released a list of guidelines for students seeking enrollment, including successful admission to the school, the completion of community service hours each semester, good academic standing and a minimum number of credit hours annually.
In videos on YouTube and Twitter, students from the school were shocked to receive such a huge gift.Fox 8.
“We are so pleased to take our partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to this next level and welcome these students fully into the Kent State family. Kent State looks forward to the time when our campus is teeming with I PROMISE students,” Diacon said in a press release.
James and his foundation opened the I PROMISE school in 2018 as part of the Akron Public School District. Since opening, they have decided to expand the program further, with plans for an entire village that would provide housing for students and their families.
The LeBron James Family Foundation told WKYC this project would be finished and ready by July.
According to cleveland.com, the high school also has a partnership with the University of Akron, which is offering its own scholarships to students from I PROMISE.