Excel Beyond 211 Scholarship Program Seeks Help for College Ready Students

Excel-Beyond-211_C_POSTDistrict 211 has a large population of academically talented students from first-generation, or low-income families. These students are college ready and looking for ways to increase their college successes and completions. However, many of these students are the first in their families to go to college, and finances are often the only issue standing in their way.

To help these students, the scholarship program Excel Beyond 211 Dollars for Scholars helps selected District 211 graduates in their efforts to become successful college students. Excel Beyond 211 is an all-volunteer program, with a Board of Directors consisting of community members, and is operated entirely from donations.

“Community members can invest in the students they have helped educate for four years so they can continue their education in college,” said Nancy Robb, former District 211 superintendent. “The majority of our Excel Beyond students have two jobs because of their financial needs, and are taking a full college academic load of courses. What we’re finding is that paying for tuition, books, or simply daily living expenses is very difficult for these students.”

Students may apply for an Excel Beyond scholarship during their senior year, and must have demonstrated their commitment to their education through their participation in Project Excel and other college readiness programs. Students must also maintain a 2.5 or higher grade point average, as well as completed at least one advanced level course in high school.

Seniors accepted into Excel Beyond 211 will achieve a college graduation rate of 85 percent, which compares to the 7 percent national average for low-income students. These students will work on a one-to-one basis with adult mentors they can go to for support and advice, or share important news. This program will help students realize the opportunities available to them for their future, expand their horizons, and demonstrate a commitment to earning a degree from a college or university.

“This program is new, and we need assistance from the community to continue helping these students,” Robb said. “One hundred percent of each donation will go directly to students from their particular school. If a community member or teacher from Palatine High School contributes, their donation will go towards a Palatine High School graduate.”

Excel Beyond 211 is an affiliate of Scholarship America, which is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. For those interested in making a donation, please visit the Excel Beyond 211 website here, and click on the donate button. If you are a District 211 employee, you have the option to donate to Excel Beyond 211 as a write-in charity during the annual Combined Charities Campaign, which runs Nov. 17 through Nov. 21.