Pre-K grads in Camden could be in line for a pre-paid college education

All it takes is a 3.5 GPA and low absences.

David Madden
June 22, 2018 - 11:37 am
More than 100 Camden children graduated from a pre-K program at formal ceremonies on the Rutgers-Camden campus Friday morning.

Dave Madden/KYW Newsradio

Categories: 

CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — More than 100 Camden children graduated, so to speak, from a pre-K program at formal ceremonies on the Rutgers-Camden campus Friday morning. They now move on to formal education, many with the promise of a college scholarship if they do well in school over the next dozen years.

Ninety of these pint-size grads, clad in cute-as-a-button cap and gown, could be members of the Rutgers class of 2035, tuition free. That is after finishing at LEAP Academy University Charter School, where Edward Xavier Barrios is the chief academic officer.

RELATED: New program offers students at Camden's LEAP Academy chance at college scholarship

"When they graduate from high school, that scholarship would continue on for them. All we ask is that they maintain their good grades," Barrios said. 

The initial requirement? A 3.5 GPA through each grade. Their overall record must be good as well, with no more than four absences in any school year.

The Alfredo Santiago Endowed Scholarship program has been in place for almost two decades and has so far put more than 100 students through Rutgers, with over $400,000 in scholarship awards so far.