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El Dorado Promise

 

El Dorado has gained national publicity and recognition for the El Dorado Promise program. Through the generosity of the Murphy Foundation, over $50 million has been invested in providing college scholarships to all El Dorado public school graduating seniors. Up to five years of college education can be paid for through the scholarship program at any college or university in the United States. The Promise program will pay an amount up to the highest university cost in Arkansas.

For additional information about the El Dorado Promise please visit their website, www.eldoradopromise.com.

 

IN THE NEWS!

 

El Dorado Promise Creates College-Going Culture in El Dorado Public Schools
Eight years ago on January 22, 2007, residents of El Dorado, Arkansas learned that a unique initiative called the El Dorado Promise would allow graduates of El Dorado Public Schools the opportunity to earn college degrees tuition-free as a result of a $50 million commitment by Murphy Oil Corporation to El Dorado’s greatest resource – its children. Since its inception, 1,588 students have received Promise scholarship funding.


The El Dorado Promise eliminates some of the financial barriers that local students face, allowing them to pursue higher education, many as first-generation college students. The El Dorado Promise scholarship reaches beyond the boundaries of economic need and academic ability to pay up to 100% of college tuition and mandatory fees for all students who graduate from El Dorado High School and have been an El Dorado Public School student since at least the ninth grade.


Since the announcement of the El Dorado Promise scholarship, the El Dorado School District has worked to ensure that students are prepared to take advantage of this opportunity to further their education. New programs were put in place as early as kindergarten to increase awareness of the Promise and to academically prepare students to enroll in college after high school graduation.


According to the 2015 El Dorado Promise impact report, released today, students and teachers alike have demanded a more rigorous curriculum resulting in dramatic increases in Advanced Placement (AP) course offerings and enrollment. A study by the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas (OEP) on the impact of the El Dorado Promise shows that in 2006, prior to the Promise, about 11% of El Dorado High School students were taking one or more AP tests. By 2014, nearly one quarter of the high school’s population was taking at least one AP course. The study also shows that the number of students taking AP tests has more than doubled since the El Dorado Promise was announced.


Not only are El Dorado students requesting and enrolling in these AP courses, but their test scores also reflect that they are learning the material that will prepare them for college courses. When looking at AP passage rate trends over time, OEP found the percentage of students passing one or more tests has increased or remained steady since 2006, even while the enrollment count for the courses has multiplied. Traditionally, when schools expand access to AP courses the passage rates fall; however, El Dorado has defied this trend and continues to hold a steady pass rate.


The El Dorado Promise has worked with the school district’s own initiatives to create a college-going culture from kindergarten to graduation. Student interest and success in AP courses shows that EHS students are doing their part to academically prepare for their futures as college-bound Promise Scholars. At the 2014 Academic Signing Day event, Bob Watson, who retired in the summer of 2014 as Superintendent of El Dorado Public Schools after a 45-year career in education, praised the students for their hard work. “You have done well. You have stepped up to a more rigorous curriculum,” Watson told the 308 Promise Scholars of 2014. He encouraged the students to take advantage of the El Dorado Promise saying, “You can make this gift (The Promise Scholarship) make a difference in your lives. Be serious about this responsibility. Stand up for what is right. Appreciate those around you. Do more – you’ve been blessed with much.”


El Dorado Promise students can attend any accredited two or four-year college or university in the U.S. The maximum amount of the Promise scholarship is based on the maximum resident tuition payable at an Arkansas public university. For 2014-2015, the highest tuition rate in the state was $7,889 for a student taking 30 credit hours per year. El Dorado Promise students are currently enrolled in 64 different colleges and universities and have received degrees from 37 colleges and universities throughout the U.S.


For more detailed information on the 2015 analysis of the El Dorado Promise Impact Report click here.

 

See what Talk Business & Polictics said, in their Tuesday Morning Briefing, about the El Dorado Promise.

EL DORADO PROMISE SEES AP ENROLLMENT DOUBLE: The El Dorado Promise turns eight years old this year, and community leaders are pointing to increases in Advanced Placement (AP) course offerings and enrollment as more signs of success. 

A study by the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas (OEP) on the impact of the El Dorado Promise shows that in 2006, prior to the Promise, about 11% of El Dorado High School students were taking one or more AP tests. By 2014, nearly one quarter of the high school’s population was taking at least one AP course. The study also shows that the number of students taking AP tests has more than doubled since the El Dorado Promise was announced in 2007.

According to school officials, student passage rates in AP courses have risen as the participation has increased, bucking a trend that usually shows lower pass rates after expansion.

The El Dorado Promise allows students of the El Dorado school district to attend any accredited two or four-year college or university in the U.S. The maximum amount of the Promise scholarship is based on the maximum resident tuition payable at an Arkansas public university, currently $7,889.

El Dorado Promise students are currently enrolled in 64 different colleges and universities and have received degrees from 37 colleges and universities throughout the U.S.

 

Click here to see the whole Tuesday Morning Briefing from Talk Business & Politics.

 

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