Arkadelphia, Ark-Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe provided the keynote address for the inaugural Arkadelphia Promise Academic Signing Day. Fourth District Congressman Mike Ross also attended the event to help celebrate the special occasion. The event was held in the Arkadelphia High School gymnasium.
The inaugural class of the Arkadelphia Promise Scholarship qualifiers signed letters of commitment at the school’s first Academic Signing Day ceremony. More than 115 seniors made the commitment to a higher education in front of their parents, AHS student body, faculty and staff to Arkansas colleges and universities including University of Arkansas, University of Central Arkansas, Arkansas State University, Henderson State University, Ouachita Baptist University and ITT Technical College.
“Don’t forget the opportunity you have before you,” encouraged Governor Mike Beebe, “Thank the people that have provided you this opportunity by getting a degree (college) and making something of yourself and making a better America.”
Announced on November 16, 2010, the Arkadelphia Promise Scholarship pays the difference, or gap, between the dollar amount of the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship and the amount of the highest tuition and mandatory fees charged by an Arkansas public college or university. The Arkadelphia Promise can be used to help pay tuition and mandatory fees at any accredited two-year or four-year public or private college or university in the United States. The Arkadelphia Promise Scholarship is funded by Southern Bancorp and Ross Foundation of Arkadelphia and is only available to graduates of Arkadelphia High School.
Congressman Mike Ross reminded students, “The decision to go to college is the most important decision you will make in your lifetime. Graduating seniors across the nation envy what you have here in Arkadelphia. You represent the best and brightest of America and the state of Arkansas.”
All students enrolled in the Arkadelphia Public School District in kindergarten through 12th grade as of Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, and who graduate from Arkadelphia High School will receive 100 percent of the Arkadelphia Promise Scholarship, regardless of the date of original enrollment in the District. For students who enroll in the Arkadelphia Public School District after Nov. 16, 2010, scholarship amounts will be paid based on length of attendance in the district.
Arkadelphia Promise Executive Director Jason Jones noted that while they are still calculating final numbers, the response to the Arkadelphia Promise has been overwhelming. “Students and parents in Arkadelphia realize that a college education is not just a dream, but a reality,” said Jones. “This commitment is a reflection of the value placed on education in our community.”
Eligibility information for School Choice enrollment in the Arkadelphia School District may be obtained at the Administration Building at 235 N. 11th Street or by calling 870-246-1100. The deadline to apply is June 30.