Madison (WKOW) -- from WI Governor's Office: Governor Jim Doyle announced Tuesday that 18,200 ninth grade students signed the Wisconsin Covenant Pledge in the second year of the program, bringing the total number of students who have signed the pledge to more than 35,500 students across the state.
"I am encouraged that so many students signed the Wisconsin Covenant and chose the path to higher education that will help train them for the high-paying, technical jobs required to compete in tomorrow's global economy," Governor Doyle said. "They need to know that regardless of their family's economic background, regardless of past academic behavior, regardless of whether anyone in their family has a college degree, higher education is an option for them."
Under the Wisconsin Covenant, students agree to graduate from a Wisconsin high school, take college preparatory classes, maintain at least a B average, and be a good citizen.
Any student who fulfills the pledge will be recognized as a Wisconsin Covenant Scholar, receive a financial aid package based on the family's federally-defined financial need and be guaranteed a place at a University of Wisconsin campus, a Wisconsin Technical College or a private institution affiliated with the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
"Through the Wisconsin Covenant we make sure that Wisconsin students entering high school understand that if they are willing to work hard, there will be a spot for them in higher education," Amy Bechtum, Director of the Office of the Wisconsin Covenant, said.
The Governor also announced the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Wisconsin a $1.8 million College Access Challenge Grant to help students and their families learn about, prepare for, and finance a postsecondary education.
Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. will provide matching funds and will administer the program services.
College Access Challenge Grant outreach efforts will be coordinated by seven staff members and will include: