In San Francisco, there is a new promise for middle school students, "Qualify for college and you'll have a reserved seat as well as financial aid when you get there."
Despite the current economic crises, three middle schools are promising students who "sign the 'Save Me a Spot in College' pledge - and later meet entrance and eligibility requirements - will receive a fee waiver for two or more years at a California community college, as long as the student continues to show financial need."
Students who qualify for financial aid would be able to receive college funding anyway, but San Francisco sees it as an opportunity to provide "motivation as well as increased college-preparatory support through high school."
Right now colleges are cutting back on offered courses and admitting fewer students due to cash-strapped institutions. However, as they look forward, they are hoping to create the even bigger problem of having so many students qualifying for college that they will be forced to fix that problem.
I think anything that promises and guarantees a future in education is great. It's not a charitable act. The students would have to qualify (which can be a big task...and which is why I would hope the school system is stepping up to that plate). By providing the offer in junior high, kids have an opportunity to begin working toward their goals, not having to worry about finding the funding and figuring out the system....a daunting task for kids and parents who have no experience with the massive amounts of paperwork and small print it takes to get into college.
Wouldn't it be nice to offer that guarantee to all kids?