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John Deere Helps Increase Access to Higher Ed

MOLINE, Ill.,A groundbreaking partnership between the John Deere Foundation, the University of Iowa (UI), and the Davenport Community School District (DCSD) will soon increase access to higher education for Iowa high school students.

The John Deere Foundation will give $6.6 million over six years to create the John Deere Scholars Program, a program based on financial need that will help Davenport Community High School students get ready for college at Iowa.

"We believe education is the foundation for success," said Mara Downing, president of the John Deere Foundation. "By investing in our community, John Deere is also investing in opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow. We are excited to begin the John Deere Scholars Program and watch these future leaders achieve their dreams."

The program will start this fall with college readiness courses for seniors from low- to middle-income families at Davenport Central, North, West, and Mid City high schools. UI will appoint a local program director to work with school counselors to teach the courses, provide training to improve leadership skills, and assist students with the financial aid and admissions process.

Then, starting in spring 2025, the program will give 20 scholarships per year for three years (60 in total), paying 90% of the total cost to attend Iowa. The remaining 10% will be paid by other funding sources, such as work-study. The first cohort of students will enroll at Iowa in the fall of 2025. Any student participating in college readiness courses through the program will be able to apply for a scholarship.

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