Sinclair offers new scholarship program to Dayton Public Schools grads

Sinclair Community College graduation was held at the University of Dayton Arena Thursday, May 6, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Sinclair Community College graduation was held at the University of Dayton Arena Thursday, May 6, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Sinclair Community College is offering a new scholarship program to help 60 Class of 2021 Dayton Public Schools graduates continue their education immediately this fall.

The $1,000 scholarships ($500 for each semester) will go to students who posted at least a 2.0 GPA and had 90% or better attendance their senior year of high school.

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Dayton school officials said they emailed a survey to the many students who fit the criteria, asking whether they had already applied to Sinclair, or would attend if they received the scholarship. Sinclair then took that information and chose 60 students for the scholarships.

“Many students are facing uncertainty or considering a delay in college due to various obstacles,” Dayton school Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said. “However, these scholarships are paving a path for our students to gain the vital skills and education they need for rewarding careers.”

A student with a traditional full-time college course load (15 credit hours per semester) would pay about $1,890 per semester at Sinclair before any financial aid. Many Sinclair students take fewer classes because they are balancing employment, family needs, or are working on more narrow job-skill training. Cathy Petersen, Sinclair’s chief of public information, said there is no credit-hour minimum to receive the scholarship.

Sinclair officials said they have a history of working with DPS, and President Steve Johnson said the scholarships would help students find in-demand career pathways beyond high school.

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“This is another example of Sinclair’s commitment to helping more students in the Dayton region earn more credentials faster and for less money,” Johnson said.

The attendance requirement is part of the scholarship because DPS has been emphasizing its “Be Present for a Better Future” attendance campaign. That campaign showed very small attendance improvements early in the 2019-20 school year, before the COVID pandemic hit.

College applications and enrollment were down overall in Ohio this year as COVID caused financial strain and uncertainty for many families.

Sinclair saw an 11% decrease in straight-from-high-school enrollment in 2020. But because the school serves a diverse range of residents, overall headcount enrollment (18,742) dipped by only 1%, according to the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

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Some colleges are taking extreme measures on enrollment, with Edison State Community College in Piqua waiving tuition for qualifying 2021 high school graduates within their immediate geographic area.

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