Hiram College recently pledged its support to Say Yes to Education, a national nonprofit organization committed to making a college degree affordable and attainable for public high school graduates. The College also joined the Say Yes to Education National Higher Education Compact, agreeing to cover the cost of full tuition and mandatory fees for a select number of qualifying students.

As part of the agreement, the College will offer four-year scholarships to up to five new students per year from families with household incomes at or below $75,000 in Say Yes communities, focusing on students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The scholarships will cover up to the cost of tuition and mandatory fees. The local Say Yes Cleveland scholarship fund has committed to provide as many as five additional grants, known as Choice Grants, to eligible applicants whose family income exceeds the income threshold. Those grants are valued at up to $5,000 annually.
Hiram has long been committed to making a liberal arts degree affordable. Lori Varlotta, Ph.D., president of Hiram College, believes that the partnership with Say Yes to Education is another concrete example of that.

“Every year we attract a sizable number of students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and the Say Yes Scholarship helps students secure the type of academic and financial support they need not only to ‘get in,’ but to ‘get out’ with a high-quality degree,” said Varlotta. “Students who are awarded the Say Yes Scholarship at Hiram will receive a top-notch, private education that helps them develop into intellectually agile and socially responsible thinkers and doers. By the time they graduate, students will be able demonstrate a 21st-century skill set and mindset that paves the paths to the career and calling they are meant to navigate.”

Say Yes selected Cleveland, Ohio as the site of its fourth community chapter, joining three other communities – Buffalo and Syracuse in New York, and Guilford County in North Carolina. Hiram becomes one of the more than 100 colleges and universities, located in 26 states and the District of Columbia, in the Say Yes to Education National Higher Education Compact.

In addition to providing scholarships, the partner colleges and universities in the Say Yes National Higher Education Compact work to create a college-going culture in communities whose young people have been historically underrepresented at the nation’s higher education institutions.
by Jenelle Bayus