Friday, October 30, 2009

Governor Doyle Announces Grants for Wisconsin Covenant Scholars

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle today announced that each student who has signed the Wisconsin Covenant pledge and fulfills the pledge, enrolls at least half-time in a Wisconsin college or university, and demonstrates significant financial need will receive a $1,500 Wisconsin Covenant Foundation grant to be used for postsecondary education expenses. Governor Doyle and First Lady Jessica Doyle were joined by students who have signed the pledge and Richard D. George, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, at the announcement.

“Over the past three years, over 50,000 students have signed the Wisconsin Covenant and told us that they want to go to college,” Governor Doyle said. “Today, I am pleased to announce a $1,500 Wisconsin Covenant Foundation grant for qualified students to help pay for college. I know that there are thousand of students working hard out there every day to fulfill their half of the Covenant pledge and with the help of the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation and others, we are going to help make college a reality.”

“These grants are designed to help hard-working students realize that college is possible regardless of their family’s economic situation,” said Richard D. George. “We hope that by announcing these grants now, high school juniors from families who lack the resources to help pay for college will have extra motivation to complete the pledge and go on to college.”

Under the Wisconsin Covenant, students agree to graduate from a Wisconsin high school, take college preparatory classes, maintain at least a B average, and be a good citizen. Any student who fulfills the pledge will be recognized as a Wisconsin Covenant Scholar, receive a financial aid package based on the family’s federally-defined financial need and be guaranteed a place at a University of Wisconsin campus, a Wisconsin Technical College or a private institution affiliated with the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

More than 50,000 students have signed the pledge over the past three years. The first class of Wisconsin Covenant Scholars who will be eligible for the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation grants will graduate from high school in 2011.

This year Governor Doyle signed into law a $25 million per year allocation for the Wisconsin Covenant Scholar Grant, a permanent appropriation that will augment standard financial aid and private funding to ensure that additional resources are available to help make college more affordable for Covenant Scholars. The Governor is currently working with the legislature to implement the grant program and establish eligibility criteria and expects to complete the process by the end of the school year.

In November 2007, Governor Doyle established the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation, a private, non-profit, tax-exempt charity, with an initial endowment of $40 million from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. The Foundation’s purpose is to support post-secondary education access for Wisconsin students who participate in the Wisconsin Covenant program and distribute the money to students who have fulfilled the Wisconsin Covenant pledge and have demonstrated financial need. The Foundation operates at the direction of its board of directors led by Richard D. George, CEO of Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation.

Governor Doyle has been committed to ensuring affordable access to higher education. Since he took office, he has tripled the amount of financial aid available to students. In his 2007-2009 biennial budget, he increased financial aid by $44 million. In the 2009-2011 biennial budget, in the face of tough economic times, he remained committed to his priorities and increased financial aid by an additional $25 million. The Governor has also expanded the college tuition tax deduction and signed legislation to increase the maximum Wisconsin Higher Education Grant for UW System schools from $2,500 to $3,000.

For more information about eligibility for the Wisconsin Covenant Foundation grant call Shannon Loredo at 608-240-1251.

For more information on the Wisconsin Covenant go to:


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