|@St. Norbert April 2008 - State covenant assures affordable college places for qualified students||St. Norbert College|
Gov. Doyle greets prospective students
State covenant assures affordable college places for qualified students
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle will have pledge forms in hand when he visits St. Norbert College on Thursday, April 17.
The governor will be on campus to promote the Wisconsin Covenant, an agreement he launched in the fall of 2006 to ensure that good high school students are guaranteed a spot in one of the colleges or universities in the state, private or public, and a financial aid package to make it affordable.
The Wisconsin Covenant is an optional program in which eighth-grade students are invited to sign a pledge affirming that they will:
-earn a high school diploma.
-participate in their community.
-take a high school curriculum that prepares them for higher education.
-maintain a B average in high school.
-apply in a timely manner for state and federal financial aid.
Approximately 17,000 of the 75,000 eighth graders in Wisconsin signed the covenant pledge in the spring of 2007.
“If you do the math, that’s not a lot of students,” says Mark Selin (Admission) at St. Norbert College. “Many of the middle school counselors didn’t have a lot of information last year. We need to increase that number. There have been some really significant donations to the Wisconsin Covenant. The Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation has given a lot of money. We are getting some teeth behind this program.”
The financial assistance component of the covenant helps close the gap for students from low-income families who cannot afford college with existing financial aid.
“It encourages students who may not have thought college was a possibility to work towards that goal,” says Selin. “I recommend that all students sign it. Even if you are a good student who is on path to go to college and your family can financially support your education, I recommend it. You will be recognized as a Wisconsin Covenant Scholar.”
Participating institutions of higher education include the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, to which St. Norbert College belongs, the University of Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Technical College System.
Colleges and universities will benefit from the program, too, says Selin. “The hope is that St. Norbert College gets more qualified students from all areas of the state,” he says. “The program will also help the students that come to us be more prepared for college.”
Selin added that the community participation requirement of the covenant fits the mission of St. Norbert College.
“While community service is not required, it certainly is a part of the college experience for a large number of our students,” he says. “They can continue that community involvement when they arrive here on campus.”
Eighth-graders who join the governor in De Pere will have the opportunity to sign the covenant pledge, and tour the campus with current St. Norbert students.
Pledge and membership forms are also available online at www.wisconsincovenant.wi.gov.