Officials at School Counts! like to say that the program requires nothing that a student shouldn’t be doing — getting good grades, going to school and being on time.
Those who do that — and fill out the FAFSA — can earn up to $1,000 each semester for four semesters toward tuition at Madisonville Community College.
Enrollment in the School Counts! program is automatic and parents must ‘opt-out’ to not be enrolled. Self-billed as a “work ethic/scholarship community initiative” funded by community outlets, the program requires a minimum of 95 percent attendance, a 2.50 GPA each year, more credits than required and high school completion in four years.
Other cities and counties in the region are exploring Madisonville’s initiative and, locally, the program has been met with enthusiasm. “The Rotary Club adopted the program, pledged $100,000 and contributed 70 energetic workers,” said Dr. Judith Rhoads, the president of MCC. “Within eight to 12 months we had several $100,000 donations and a quarter-million dollars from the Trover Foundation.”