Galesburg Promise is built on the belief that education is the key to regional vitality and economic development. It was established by the City of Galesburg — through a two-percent hotel/motel tax which goes directly to the Galesburg Community Foundation — and offers an incentive for students to graduate from high school and an opportunity for a post-secondary education to increase the pool of college graduates who can be gainfully employed in Galesburg and the surrounding area.
Galesburg Promise will pay up to 16 credits of tuition per semester, up to a maximum of 64 credits for post-secondary education that will result in a degree or certificate from Carl Sandburg College. It is a last-dollar grant, which means that the student must apply for federal and state financial aid first as well as other scholarships. All scholarships must be applied first and the Galesburg Promise will provide the remainder of the cost of tuition after other financial aid, according to an arranged percentage based on the number of years of attendance in the Galesburg school district.
Sandburg College has struggled since the hollowing of a huge Maytag plant in 2004. With nearly 6,000 students at its peak, enrollment has nearly been sliced in half.
“Galesburg has taken a series of economic hits in recent years,” said Lori Sundberg, the president of Carl Sandburg College. “Without question, Galesburg is not as vibrant economically as it was before the loss of several of our manufacturers. However, we can’t change the past. All we can change now is our future. And we CAN do it. There is no better investment than in our own young people for it is the next generation who will take Galesburg into the future.”