Green City Councilman-at-Large Stephen Dyer Introduces Ohio’s First City-Sponsored

Four-Year Scholarship Program for First-Generation College Students

GREEN – Today, Green City Councilman Stephen Dyer announced he has drafted Ohio’s first city-
sponsored, up to four-year scholarship program for first-generation college students living in the city.
The ordinance will receive first reading tomorrow, Tuesday, May 9, during Green City Council.

Dyer will present about the scholarship tomorrow at 5 p.m. during Finance Committee, where he serves
as Vice Chairman. All Green City Council and Committee meetings stream live at:

“I look forward to working with Mayor Neugebauer and my colleagues on City Council to get this done
for our community. Earning a college education is more important now than ever to compete in the 21st
Century economy. I’ve seen its importance first hand,” said Dyer, who is the Education Policy Fellow at
Innovation Ohio and teaches freshman Composition at the University of Akron. “The most at-risk group
of students to either not go to college, or not finish college, are first generation students. It is my hope
that, at least in Green, this scholarship program would ensure that as many first-generation students as
possible start and complete college.”

The program – The Great Reaches Educational Achievement Together (GREAT) Scholarship – would
provide $2,500 scholarships for Green High School graduates who have at least a 2.5 GPA and live in
Green. In addition, they would receive the $2,500 each year they are in college, whether a 2-year or 4-
year institution, if they maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher and remain continuously enrolled in college.

“The current and previous mayors’ and councils’ prudent fiscal management have left us with the
opportunity to do this for our residents without breaking the bank,” Dyer said. “Our community is truly
blessed to have had that leadership.”

The $2,500 would cover a significant portion of the annual tuition at Stark State. And over the four
years, the GREAT Scholarship would equal a little more than a year of tuition at Kent State University
or the University of Akron.

“This scholarship is a really innovative idea,” said Chad Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy and
Advocacy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute – a center-right, think tank in Dayton and Columbus. “As
a first-generation college student myself, this would have been incredibly helpful. Green is fortunate to
be in the position to do something so transformative for its kids and community.”

Green is one of the few Ohio communities that runs significant, annual budget surpluses – a fact that
allows the program to be paid for without additional taxes. Dyer has budgeted $100,000 initially, with a
potential $300,000-$400,000 funding level once it’s fully implemented.

“This will give wonderful opportunities to our students,” said Green Local Schools Superintendent
Jeffrey Miller. “We have many students who could do wonderful things in college, but the costs just
swamp them under. This would be a great help and a wonderful selling point for the community. A real
feather in its cap.”

Contact: Green City Councilman-at-Large Stephen Dyer
First Generation College Student Fact Sheet

According to a recent article in the journal Science, failing to go to college will cost students $500,000
over their lifetimes. But the benefits are more than simple economics. Among other things, attaining a
college degree means:

 The likelihood of reporting health to be very good or excellent is 44 percent greater.
 The likelihood of being a regular smoker is 3.9 times lower.
 The incidence of obesity and heavy drinking are significantly lower.
 The likelihood of exercising, having a healthy diet, wearing seat belts and seeking preventative
medical care are significantly higher.
 The incidence of a disability making it difficult to live independently is 3.6 times lower.
 Life expectancy at age 25 is seven years longer (for those having at least some college compared
to those never having gone to college).
 Reliance on expensive forms of banking and credit is significantly lower.
 The probability of being in prison or jail is 4.9 times lower.
 The probability of being married is 21 percent higher and the probability of being divorced or
separated is 61 percent lower.
 The likelihood of being happy is significantly higher

And the community benefits as well.
 Lifetime taxes are, conservatively, $273,000 (215 percent) greater in present discounted value.
 Lifetime government expenditures are about $81,000 (39 percent) lower in present value.
 The lifetime total fiscal effect is roughly $355,000 in present value.
 Crime is significantly lower.
 Volunteering is 2.3 times more likely.
 The estimated value of volunteer labor is 4.1 times ($1,300 annually) greater.
 Employment in the nonprofit sector is twice as likely.
 Annual cash donations to charities are $900 (3.4 times) higher.
 Total philanthropic contributions are $3,600 (4.7 times) higher.
 Voting and political involvement are significantly higher.
 Participation in school, community, service, civic and religious organizations is substantially (1.9
times) higher.
 Leadership in these organizations is particularly (3.2 times) greater.
 Attendance at community meetings is 2.6 times greater.
 Neighborhood interactions and trust are significantly higher.

But first generation students struggle to see those benefits. Barely 1/3 of first-generation college
students go to college directly out of high school. They tend to have to work more during school and end
up not finishing at much higher rates. In fact, first-generation students are:

 Disproportionately overrepresented among most disadvantaged groups
 More likely to delay college entry, need remedial coursework, and drop out of college
 Reporting lower educational expectations than their peers as early as 8th grade
 Beginning college less academically prepared than other students
 Less likely to take algebra, considered the “gateway” to advanced math courses in high school
and associated with 4-year college enrollment
 Less likely to take college courses in academic areas such as mathematics, science, and computer
science and more likely to focus on vocational/technical fields
 Tending to apply to and attend less selective colleges that are closer to home
 More likely to work while in college and live off campus, negatively affecting college academic
and social integration outcomes
 Not more likely to receive help from their schools in applying to colleges
Data Sources: