News & Announcements

Say Yes to Education Says “Yes” to Cleveland

$125-million initiative will provide scholarships to CMSD students over the next 25 years

Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 was a transformative day for high school students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. It was the day Cleveland became the fourth Say Yes to Education chapter in the nation – making college free for virtually all CMSD graduates.

Over the next 25 years, eligible students living in Cleveland and attending a CMSD or partnering charter high school will receive scholarships toward tuition for postsecondary education. The scholarship program will begin with the high school graduating class of 2019. 

Almost $90 million has been raised locally to provide scholarships to any public university, college or Pell-eligible certificate program in Ohio, including Cleveland State University.

“We are proud to support the broad coalition of community stakeholders that has been working for years to nurture a ‘go-to-college’ culture in Cleveland and make the promise of Say Yes to Education a reality in our hometown,” CSU President Harlan M. Sands said. 

“We look forward to having even more CMSD students say yes to an education at Cleveland State, and we are committed to doing all we can to assist them in completing their degrees and starting rewarding careers.”

Some of these students are already on the CSU campus, which is home to three CMSD schools:

  • Campus International School, with 700-plus K-8 students;
  • Campus International High School, with 200-plus students;
  • and MC2STEM High School, with an additional 200 students.

“Fewer than half of CMSD graduates enroll in college within one year of earning their high school diploma. We can do better and we will do better,” President Sands said. “The Say Yes to Education program is a game changer for these kids.”

The transformative initiative will provide “last dollar” scholarships for college tuition for CMSD students, picking up the difference not covered by other scholarships or grants. Say Yes to Education also provides wrap-around support services, including health, mental health and legal services, as well as tutoring, after-school and summer programs.