#CollegeNowat50: Current and Former Staff Celebrate 50 Years 
Current and former staff of College Now/The Cleveland Scholarship Program gathered to celebrate 50 years of college and career access innovation.

To commemorate 50 years of service to the community, College Now held an afternoon luncheon for all current and former staff members last Thursday. 

The event highlighted the importance of our work and the exponential growth of the organization over the past 50 years. When College Now, then the Cleveland Scholarship Program, was developed in 1967, scholarships were offered, but few were taken because students simply were not on a postsecondary path. Since then, College Now's work has evolved to become more comprehensive, first, placing advisors in schools and later, pairing scholarship recipients with mentors through our innovative mentoring program.

CEO Lee Friedman welcomed the group and said that over 50 years, College Now has served a cumulative total of 350,000 students and awarded more than $71 million in renewable, need-based scholarships. 

Dr. Clarence Mixon, who joined as Executive Director in 1971, oversaw the growth of advising services in the Cleveland schools and the expansion into suburban and parochial schools and community-based settings. An integral part of the organization in its formative years, Dr. Mixon spoke, first-hand, to the evolution of College Now and his delight at watching the program expand exponentially under later directors and CEOs. 

Finally, Chief Program Officer, Michele Scott Taylor, said a few words about College Now and the work done by the organization today, taking time to acknowledge the critical jobs done by each member of the College Now staff and the impact they make in the lives of so many.

It is not possible to celebrate a milestone such as an organization's 50th anniversary without recognizing the staff whose great work made that longevity possible. Please join us in thanking our current and former staff for their commitment to increasing educational attainment in Northeast Ohio!

Click here to view more photos from the luncheon.

IMPORTANT: Temporary Opportunity to Enroll in Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program for Those Previously Rejected

If your Public Service Loan Forgiveness application was rejected because some or all of your payments were not made in a qualifying repayment plan, you may be eligible for a temporary opportunity to receive loan forgiveness. 

More information can be found on the Office of Federal Student Aid web site.

If you need help navigating the process, you can take advantage of our FREE Student Loan Rescue services by calling 216.636.0151 or clicking here to make an appointment online.

on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 from 5.30 pm - 7.30 pm at The City Club of Cleveland  to celebrate 50 years of college and career access innovation as we honor:
The Cleveland Foundation
The George Gund Foundation
The John Huntington Fund for Education
The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
As the first college access and scholarship organization in the nation, we are proud to have awarded $71 million in scholarships and served over 350,000 students and adult learners in Northeast Ohio.
To honor this momentous occasion, we are recognizing the four foundations that have supported us from the very beginning. Each of these funders has been an invaluable partner, providing us with valued counsel and a combined $40 million in funding since our inception.
Tickets are $250 and can be purchased  here . For additional information, contact  Lauren Mastracco .
Mentoring Pair Profile: Sydney and Kandy

With a number of recent graduations, we wanted to profile one of our most recent graduates and her mentor as they close out their formal mentoring relationship. Sydney graduated in May from Kent State University with a degree in Health Science and was excited for her mentor, Kandy, to attend her graduation ceremony.
Sydney and Kandy met four years ago when they were matched at the beginning of Sydney's freshman year. While they had Kent State University in common, the two had different career focuses, with Sydney's plan to major in health science and Kandy's experience in business and risk management. Despite their differences, the two formed a meaningful and close relationship. "Our relationship, forged over four years of emails and lunch meetings," Kandy shared "has been a gift for us both and helped provide Sydney with valuable tools during her college years."
Looking back on her experience, Sydney feels every college student needs a strong support system and that College Now has been a big part of hers. She shared that College Now provided her with the resources and information she needed to navigate her college journey. "Most importantly," Sydney said, "they provided me with an awesome mentor, Kandy, who was with me every step of the way."
While their formal match is ending, their relationship with each other - and College Now - is not finished. Starting in August, Sydney will be serving as an AmeriCorps College Guide at College Now supporting other students like herself in achieving their education dreams! Congratulations to Sydney and all of our 2018 graduates, and many thanks for Kandy and her fellow mentors!

College Now to Select Sixth Cohort of Cuyahoga County Scholarship Fund Recipients

In 2013, the Cuyahoga County Council, pursuant to the County charter, established a scholarship program at College Now Greater Cleveland, as part of the County's Educational Assistance Program. Since then, more than 425 students, all residents of Cuyahoga County, have received, or will once they begin college in fall 2018, renewable scholarships, mentoring and retention services provided by College Now through the generosity of the Cuyahoga County Scholarship Fund.
Selected students are academic and financially eligible County residents, who were served by College Now advisors while they were students in their high schools and who now attend, or will attend in fall 2018, one of nine postsecondary educational institutions within the County.
While final graduation rates for the first cohort of students will not be available until fall 2020, 70% of the first cohort of recipients have graduated or are still pursuing their degrees. Subsequent cohorts are also experiencing similarly strong persistence and retention rates.
College Now is grateful to the County Council and County Executive Armond Budish for this deep and sustained commitment to furthering postsecondary educational attainment for County residents!
Ohio's Statewide Elections Have Potential to Impact College Now's Students

This November, for the first time in eight years, Ohio voters will elect an entirely new slate of state-wide officials.These elected officials will be responsible for policies that directly impact the 27,000 plus students, adults and their families served by College Now including College Credit Plus, the Ohio College Opportunity Grant and student loans.
Simultaneously, these officials will focus on bringing Ohio's economy into the next decade, where it is estimated that over 65% of available jobs will need to be filled by workers who have earned postsecondary credentials and degrees. Today, only 44% of Ohioans have some education or training beyond a high school diploma, making Ohio 34th in the country in postsecondary educational attainment.
College Now, in partnership with the Higher Education Compact and with support from the National College Access Network, is dedicating additional staff time to developing materials and communications to ensure our next state leaders are knowledgeable about the importance of postsecondary education, the challenges Ohio's students face and how responsible public policies can help to prepare Ohioans for a 21 st century economy.
As part of educating candidates for statewide office, we are drawing attention to the fact that 64% of Ohioans who graduated from college in 2016 incurred student loan debt, the 9 th highest ranking in the nation; moreover, the average total debt owed was $30,351, the 14 th largest amount in the nation. One significant contributor to these bleak statistics stems from the fact that the State of Ohio's investment in need-based financial aid through the Ohio College Opportunity Grant is the worst in the region (see infographic).
Throughout the next six months, we will share additional updates about our policy priorities.

Getting Ready for Summer? Get Your Sunscreen, Flip-flops and Books on Amazon and Support College Now at the Same Time
  1. Type www.smile.amazon.com into your browser before shopping.
  2. Log in to your Amazon account.
  3. Type College Now Greater Cleveland into the charity/organization search bar.
  4. 0.5% of your total purchase amount will be donated to College Now!

College Now Greater Cleveland | 216.241.5587 
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