HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — This is the first class of seniors who will be able to have the Hartford Promise scholarships available to them.
Senior at Bulkeley High School Danielle Allerdyce says when she thinks about paying for school she thinks, “I won’t be able to go to the college I want to because it’s expensive.”
“College in general is just a lot of money. Scholarships really help a lot,” said Bulkeley High Senior David Santiago.
“Nothing changes a life more than higher education,” said Executive Director of the Hartford Promise Richard Sugarman. “A dollar invested in a promise scholarship can mean anywhere from $4 to $6 in increased economic returns in the community and frankly increased taxes.”
Requirements include living in Hartford and attending a public high school. Students have to earn a 3.0 GPA and have a 93% attendance. Students can get $20,000 for a 4 year school and $2,500 for a 2 year school.
“It creates a college going culture where it is a expectation not an exception,” said Bulkeley High Principal Gayle Allen-Greene.
Allen-Greene has spent nearly 40 years educating in Hartford and knows the financial struggle for some.
“Some students get accepted, but when it comes that their parents have to come up with $5,000 the families aren’t able to come up with the money,” said Allen-Greene.
In New Haven, there’s been a promise program for four years and each year they celebrate their scholars. The first year they handed out 140 scholarships and this year they awarded 250. Hartford hopes it see growth too.
Both Danielle Allerdyce and David Santiago qualify right now, and for them, it would be a huge weight lifted.
“I’m happy. I might actually get to go to the college I want it’s going to help pay for it and take some stress off my parents,” said Allerdyce.
“Just getting a scholarship from doing hard work it’s like really worth it,” Santiago said.