The LeBron James Family Foundation and the University of Akron announced Thursday that the 1,100 children currently enrolled in the I Promise program, sponsored by the Cleveland Cavaliers forward, will receive full scholarships to the Ohio university.
The children, who are currently in third through seventh grade, must meet attendance, grade and ACT requirements through high school in order to receive a scholarship. The opportunity will be extended to children currently in the educational program, as well as children entering over the next four years. Around 300 children enroll each year, meaning a total of 2,300 students could receive scholarships from the initiative.
The scholarships will be renewable over all four years the students are enrolled at the university. With one year's tuition to Akron currently costing $9,500, the university and James are preparing to make a potential $87 million investment.
The university also announced it will be renaming its College of Education after James's foundation.
“I think it's probably one of the best things I've ever been apart of,” James, who did not attend college, said to ESPN. “This is very special to me. As a kid growing up in the inner city and as an African American kid, you don't really think past high school because it's not possible or your family can't support you. For us to be able to do something like this ... it means so much.”
- Erin Flynn