"GoBuck$” a win win for education in Marion

News Release Date: 

Pilot program incentivizes attendance, academic achievement, and promotes higher education

Imagine getting your first college scholarship before you even learn to read.  That is now reality through a partnership between The Ohio State University at Marion and Marion City Schools.

The Ohio State University at Marion and Marion City Schools have partnered to institute a pilot program beginning in the 2010-2011 academic school year and beyond that could mean increased attendance and academic performance in Marion City grades K-12, while providing up to $100,000 in scholarships annually to attend college.

Ohio State Marion has committed to provide tuition vouchers of $25 and $50 per quarter to Marion students meeting attendance and achievement criteria set forth by the school system. Students have the potential of earning up to $3,300 tuition from kindergarten through high school, if they meet all attendance and achievement criteria set forth by the school.

Organizers from Ohio State Marion and Marion City Schools hope the program will boost attendance at Marion City Schools from 92.8%, which is just below the state benchmark of 93% attendance.

“We think this is an excellent way for The Ohio State University at Marion to work with Marion City Schools and engage students early in their educational career, to encourage habits that will make them successful as they move into higher education,” said Greg Rose, dean and director of The Ohio State University at Marion.

Marion City School Superintendent Jim Barney said he feels blessed that Ohio State Marion is partnering with them.

“We are excited about the partnership, Barney said. “We think it is going to be great for Ohio State Marion and Marion City Schools.”

Because cost is often a deterrent for otherwise gifted students to pursue a degree, organizers feel the program will pay dividends well beyond high school graduation. The “GoBuck$” program provides a real dollars and cents incentive for students to achieve in earlier grades, then continue that habit of achievement at The Ohio State University.

“For our kids it provides access to the university for students who might never have had that opportunity before,” said Barney.

According to Dave Claborn, director of community relations & development at The Ohio State University at Marion, the “GoBuck$” concept grew from Ohio State Marion’s desire to continually strengthen its community outreach and more specifically to support the educational aspirations of students in our own backyard.

“We believe the program can be sustained utilizing current scholarship dollars, as well as additional scholarship funding we hope to obtain in the future,” said Claborn.

“We will be seeking to create endowments that will fund these tuition vouchers in perpetuity,” he explained.

Expanding the program beyond Marion City Schools to other school districts in Ohio State Marion’s seven-county service area will be dependent upon community support.