Jacksonville Promise Increases Scholarship Amount, Expects Record Number of Applicants

By Jeremy Coumbes on March 12, 2020 at 8:43am

The Jacksonville Promise Scholarship Program will be offering more financial support to students, starting this fall.

The Jacksonville Promise Board of Directors announced today an increase in the dollar amount of scholarships that will be awarded in the fall of 2020.

President of the Jacksonville Promise Board, Chuck Sheaff says that continued community support in donations to the program, paired with some careful planning by the board, has given the group the means to increase the financial support to area students.

We have typically raised a little more than we have in expenses every year, and have considered that an endowment for the future that will let us run if the year of giving ends up being less than we anticipated. And we felt like we were enough ahead now and had enough sustained giving that we could increase our award by 50%. We had been giving awards of $2,500.00 for one year, and we decided to increase that by giving a year and a half of scholarships which increases the total award to $3,750.00.”

Sheaff says that they can afford to give scholarships at the increased amount for the next two years, and then will at that time reevaluate the giving level.

He says that if their intake of support increases by about 20% in the future, then they will be able to continue to give at the new level, but if donations decrease then they may have to drop the amount awarded.

Sheaff says that interest in the program has continued to increase, they the Jacksonville Promise is on pace to possibly have a record setting year.

We anticipate that we are going to have about 40 applicants this year. We seem to have a good start on it, we have almost 30 applications in so far, so it looks like we are on pace to beat prior years. Our biggest year so far was 37 recipients.

We have given 104 scholarships the last four years. Our first class of recipients will be graduating this June and we are anxious to follow them along and see how many stay local. Over the next few years we should be able to measure the economic benefit that we are actually reaping from this program.”

Jacksonville Promise Board members also were informed of exciting news for the group during their Tuesday evening stated meeting as it was announced in the Education Report that of the 48 Illinois College students named to the President’s Honor Roll currently, 13 of those students were Promise Scholarship recipients.

Sheaff says that the promise would not be able to happen without the continued support from the Jacksonville community, and says that there are several opportunities coming up to support the scholarship program.

We have a pancake breakfast coming up on the 21st of April. Every third Tuesday at Leo’s we get a portion of- I think 5% of the bill is donated to the Jacksonville Promise, so we hope people choose to dine out at Leo’s on the third Tuesday. The AMVETS hall has invited us to participate in their 50/50 drawing in rotation with other charities, and I think our next night at the AMVETS hall is April 21st. We will also be helping to host and help with one of the concerts on the square this summer, and of course we are going to have a fall fundraiser again in October, and we have not picked a date for that just yet.”

The Jacksonville Promise pancake breakfast will be at Applebee’s on Morton Avenue on Saturday March 21st.

To make a donation or to find out more information about the Jacksonville Promise Scholarship Program, log on to their website jacksonvillepromis.wixsite.com/fundraising or the Jacksonville Promise Facebook page.