Almost 2,500 students have benefitted from the El Dorado Promise scholarship program since it was implemented on Jan. 22, 2007, with students attending 140 universities in 31 states, according to program officials.
The El Dorado Promise is funded by El Dorado-based Murphy Oil Corp. and provides a scholarship to graduates of El Dorado High School up to the equivalent of the maximum level of resident tuition at an Arkansas public university, but can be used at any regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.
“As more Promise students are receiving their college degrees and beginning to enter the workforce, the Promise is now having a growing impact on the world outside of El Dorado,” noted a program statement.
Students continuously enrolled in the El Dorado School District from kindergarten through high school graduation receive 100% of the Promise. Students entering the district after kindergarten will receive a pro-rated percentage of the scholarship. Students must be enrolled by the beginning of their 9th grade year and remain enrolled through graduation to be eligible for the scholarship.
The Office of Education Policy at the University of Arkansas reported in 2018 a 16.5 percentage point increase in El Dorado school enrollment after the announcement of the Promise. The university report also found that the Promise was associated with a 10.7 overall percentage point increase in bachelor’s degree completion and a 12.7% point increase in bachelor’s degree completion for Promise Scholars whose high school grade point average was in the top 50% of their class.