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The Rotary Club of Louisville turns 100 years old on July 21, and it chose to do something very special to mark its birthday. In the fall, when the freshman class of Western High School arrives, students will be given a promise from Rotary.
Please listen closely because this is big. If they graduate with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA, 90 percent attendance and no major disciplinary issues and enroll at Jefferson Community & Technical College after graduation, they will attend the college tuition-free while they earn an associate degree. On top of that, Rotary hopes to expand this scholarship offer to four schools in the near future.
This offer was inspired by the 55,000 Degrees program. As the name implies, the goal is to increase the number of Louisville area residents with college degrees by 55,000 by 2020. Rotary president Maynard Stetten said, "By eliminating the cost of tuition as a barrier to college, we hope to motivate students to be successful in high school and…to make attending college an expectation, not an afterthought."
Notice they're not saying every student should have an expectation of a four year degree. For many, a two year degree is plenty. As a Rotarian myself, I like what the club is doing here.