According to Kimberly Truong at Mashable the steep cost of a college tuition is daunting, at the very least, and LeBron James knows it - which is why the NBA star and his foundation are teaming up with the University of Akron to give students the chance to go to college for free.
James has announced that his foundation will provide full scholarships to the University of Akron for students in the LeBron James Family Foundation's mentoring program.
On Thursday, James and the University of Akron's president, Scott Scarborough, announced the new initiative at an event for students and their families at the Cedar Point Amusement Park.
"College isn’t a realistic future for many," James said at a news conference after the event, adding, “kids need to see a finish line.”
The LeBron James Family Foundation, according to its website, was founded to "positively affect the lives of children and young adults through education and co-curricular educational initiatives." One of those initiatives is "I Promise," a mentoring program that seeks to specifically address the needs of middle school and high school students.
Approximately 1,100 students are eligible for the four-year scholarship, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. However, hundreds more could join the mentoring program before the offer is up. The first class eligible will graduate from high school in 2021, but the plan extends to those graduating in 2029, which could total up to 2,300 students, reports the Beacon Journal.
The university and the foundation are still finalizing eligibility requirements, but at the very least, students will have to meet grade-point average and attendance standards, Scarborough said.
The initiative will have some help from JP Morgan Chase, which has pledged 4,000 man hours to provide technical assistance to find eligible students, according to Cleveland.com.
Scarborough also told the Beacon Journal that the university will work with the foundation over the next five years to raise money to cover the recipients's tuition and general fees, which currently total $9,500 per year.
"It means so much because, as a kid growing up in the inner city and a lot of African-American kids, you don't really think past high school," James, who is an Akron native, said at the news conference.
"You don't really know your future. You hear high school all the time, and you graduate high school and then you never think past that because either it's not possible or your family's not financially stable to even be able to support a kid going to college."
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