'Say Yes to Education' could bring free college tuition to Jeffe - WDRB 41 Louisville News

'Say Yes to Education' could bring free college tuition to Jefferson County

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -

Say Yes to Education is a national foundation.

Its purpose is to give free access to college to every public high school student who needs assistance.

One of the biggest hurdles for higher education is expense. That expense could soon be eliminated in Jefferson County if the district becomes the next participant in the program.

”It says to everyone who graduates high school and is ready to go to college, ‘you can get tuition free scholarships and go to school,’” said Mary Gwen Wheeler, executive director of 55,000 Degrees.

The program already exists in communities in upstate New York and North Carolina.

An information session about bringing the program to Jefferson County was held Monday at Spaulding University.

“It's really a game changer in terms of impacting an entire district,” JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens said.

The JCPS Board will meet Tuesday to discuss applying for the program.

The board is just one of a handfull of community organizations that to need to "say yes" to be considered.

“They'll do an hour session, just giving them information,” Hargens said. “No approval, no action, and then we will come back if we want to and do a letter of support from Jefferson County schools to be part of the application.”

There is some push-back, like how the community will pay for this, and Wheeler said it will be hard to raise the endowment.

JCPS, Mayor Greg Fischer's office, community organizations and businesses would be asked to give money totaling $100 million in scholarships.

“It requires the government and school systems work together in a new way,” Wheeler said.

The "Say Yes" organization will also chip in $15 million.

The letter of support from the board is due in two weeks. There’s still no word yet on when or if the program will be finalized.

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