Bryce Downey Receives Scholarship From SafeKids and St Clair Ministerial Alliance

The St Clair Ministerial Alliance voted to give away a  College Scholarship to a High School Senior. Bryce Downey was chosen for the $1000 scholarship. The Scholarship was awarded to Bryce at St John United Church of Christ by Pastor Laura Mignerone and Mark Moebius, President of Jireh Ministries and the SafeKids Program.

A recent study from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows that students from high poverty schools are much less likely to enroll of in college immediately following high school or complete a degree within six years of high school graduation.

While the data might not be surprising, it’s a trend that many organizations are working to reverse, on several different levels.

The study looked at a voluntary sample of high schools from all 50 U.S. states from high school graduating classes of 2009 and 2012-15. Poverty levels were judged based on the number of students enrolled who qualify for free or reduced lunch. High poverty schools are those with more than 75% of students receiving free or reduced lunch.

The data show that 51% of students from high poverty public schools entered college in the fall following graduation, compared with a rate of 76% for low-poverty schools.

Students enrolled in college immediately following graduation, Class of 2015
High Poverty 51%
Low Poverty 76%
Low Income 54%
Higher Income 69%
High Minority 57%
Low Minority 68%

There’s a much wider gap between high and low poverty schools in terms of students who actually complete college within six years. For students in low-poverty schools, the college completion rate was 34 percentage points higher than those in impoverished schools.

College completion rate six years after high school, Class of 2009
High Poverty 18%
Low Poverty 52%
Low Income 24%
Higher Income 45%
High Minority 28%
Low Minority 48%

Melissa Connelly is vice president of program at OneGoal, a nonprofit organization that works to close the college enrollment and completion gaps between high and low-income students. She says the data from the NSC study wasn’t a surprise.

“The fact that students from low-income communities have a drastically lower graduation rate than their peers from high-income communities is exactly what so many organizations like OneGoal have been working to address for a long time,” she says. “From the costs of application to the increasing costs of tuition, there are a multitude of variables that often become barriers for low-income students to attend and graduate from college.”

St. Clair United Methodist Church, St. John United Church of Christ, Parkway Church of the Nazarene, The First Baptist Church in St. Clair and Roots Church.

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