Arkadelphia, Ark. – Arkadelphia Promise Director Jason Jones recently announced several key statistics that demonstrate the effectiveness of the scholarship program available to Arkadelphia High School graduates. The most striking of the data is that AHS graduates who entered college as freshmen in the fall of 2012 returned to college in the fall of 2013 at a rate of 82 percent, which is a greater retention rate than both Arkansas and national averages.

“The Arkadelphia Promise was announced in November of 2010, and since then, AHS graduates have never had a better outlook for higher education opportunities,” Jones said. “We always look forward to this time of year, because we were confident our students were doing well in college and these numbers provide proof of what we suspected.”

The retention rate of freshmen to sophomore students is a common way to determine student success in college. By comparison, Arkadelphia’s current sophomores are excelling when compared to state and national retention rates. The rate for Arkansas sophomores is 61.4 percent, and on the national level it is 66.5 percent.

“Last year, we were very excited to see 70 percent of our first Arkadelphia Promise freshmen return for their sophomore year,” Jones said. “They were also well above the state and national numbers.”

According to Jones, the sophomore to junior retention rate for the original class of the Arkadelphia Promise is 85.9 percent.
“This is what we hoped for when we began this journey three years ago with this inaugural group of students,” Jones said. “This is proof that the Arkadelphia Promise is providing a better future for the students in Arkadelphia.”

Jones also announced that the AHS graduates who made up the college freshman class of 2013 went to college at a high rate. With the help of the Arkadelphia Promise, 74 percent of the graduates from AHS entered college the fall semester of 2013. In 2010, before the Arkadelphia Promise was announced, only about 60 percent of graduates entered college.

“The bottom line is that we are seeing our AHS graduates, and Arkadelphia Promise recipients, go to college and stay in college at a very high rate,” Jones said. “I personally think it is a credit to the community, the Arkadelphia Public Schools, and the Arkadelphia Promise funders, the Ross Foundation and Southern Bancorp, for fostering an environment that has created such a success story. The goals of the Arkadelphia Promise were to remove financial obstacles for students and to create an educated workforce and these numbers prove that this is happening. This is a great accomplishment in the young life of this organization.”

For more information regarding the Arkadelphia Promise, contact Jones at, or call 870-210-1271.

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