Education Funding

Tucson Students Won’t Get Promised Scholarships

By The Associated Press — November 16, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A nonprofit organization that guaranteed college scholarships for 23 Tucson fifth-graders in 2005 has now reneged on that promise — citing the recession and rising tuition rates.

Arizona Quest for Kids said it would pay four years of tuition equivalent to the cost charged by Arizona’s three public universities. The students were told they needed to have a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average upon graduating from high school, participate in enrichment programs and meet with a mentor weekly for the next seven years.

But on Wednesday, the nonprofit group told the five remaining students that it no longer could provide the funds and it would instead offer assistance to find scholarships from other sources.

“It makes me really mad and sad and frustrated,” said Ileanna Arispuro, a junior at Pueblo Magnet High School. “They promised us the scholarship, and now they say they’ll help us fill our applications?”

Patti Courtney, the mother of another 16-year-old student, has retained a lawyer in the case.

“We signed a legal contract with them and it did not say that if the money was lost that the scholarships would not be honored,” Courtney said. “This is not right.”

David Highmark, the founder of the Quest program, said a combination of factors led to the nonprofit’s inability to fund the scholarships.

First, the cost of college tuition has increased significantly from when the Quest program began in Phoenix in 2000. In-state tuition this year is $6,842 at the University of Arizona, $6,840 at Arizona State University and $6,627 at Northern Arizona University. In 2000, it was $2,344 at all three universities.

“We had dollars available that we thought — based on estimates — would be good through 2014,” Highmark said. “But the increase in tuition has outpaced the increase in inflation.”

The recession is the second factor, according to Highmark.

“Like most foundations, we gave money to the Arizona Community Foundation, and they have the money pretty conservatively invested,” he said. “But still we lost 25 to 30 percent of our principal due to the market.”

Now, Quest will guide students through the federal student-aid process to obtain grants that do not have to be paid back and to find other scholarships.

Related Tags:

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Interactive Look Up How Much COVID Relief Aid Your School District is Getting
The federal government gave schools more than $190 billion to help them recover from the pandemic. But the money was not distributed evenly.
2 min read
Education Funding Explainer Everything You Need to Know About Schools and COVID Relief Funds
How much did your district get in pandemic emergency aid? When must the money be spent? Is there more on the way? EdWeek has the answers.
11 min read
090221 Stimulus Masks AP BS
Dezirae Espinoza wears a face mask while holding a tube of cleaning wipes as she waits to enter Garden Place Elementary School in Denver for the first day of in-class learning since the start of the pandemic.
David Zalubowski/AP
Education Funding Why Dems' $82 Billion Proposal for School Buildings Still Isn't Enough
Two new reports highlight the severe disrepair the nation's school infrastructure is in and the crushing district debt the lack of federal and state investment has caused.
4 min read
Founded 55 years ago, Foust Elementary received its latest update 12-25 years ago for their HVAC units. If the school receives funds from the Guilford County Schools bond allocation, they will expand classrooms from the back of the building.
Community members in Guilford, N.C. last week protested the lack of new funding to improve the district's crumbling school facilities.
Abby Gibbs/News & Record via AP
Education Funding Can Governors Really Take Money From Schools Over Masks?
State leaders are using the threat of funding cuts as a weapon in the mask debate—but it's not clear if they can or will follow through.
7 min read
Conceptual image of hundred dollar bills with some of the images of Benjamin Franklin masked.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock