Rising Scholars


Effective March 16, 2020:
To slow transmission of COVID-19 and remain consistent with recommendations from state health authorities to practice physical distancing, all Kent State University campuses are closed until further notice.

However, during this time, Kent State Stark's Rising Scholars staff is assisting students and families remotely.

Email Lester Sanders at lsanders@kent.edu and your questions will be answered as soon as possible.

The Kent State Stark Rising Scholars Program provides students from Stark County a college-access program designed to give them and their families the knowledge, rigorous academic exposure and social support they will need to be successful at a world-class university.

Rising Scholars is designed to give first-generation and underrepresented students a pathway to achieve a college degree at no cost to participants. Our goal is for every student in our program to complete postsecondary education with the credentials necessary to succeed in his or her career.

Students who successfully complete the high-school portion of the program will be eligible to apply for a Rising Scholars Scholarship at Kent State Stark.

Creating a Path from Poverty to Prosperity

The Rising Scholars program goals are to:

  • Increase high school graduation rates, enhance college readiness and improve college/postsecondary attendance in urban and rural counties.
  • Prepare a technically skilled, professionally trained workforce to promote economic growth in the region.
  • Support the success of students who have promising academic ability, but may not have access to social and educational opportunities that will allow them to reach their potential.
  • Provide sponsored scholarships to cover tuition at Kent State Stark for Rising Scholars and their student mentors.

The Rising Scholars program includes:

  • Year-round enrichment workshops focused on STEM subjects, personal leadership, academic motivation, college readiness, career exploration and civic engagement
  • Earn college credits through the College Credit Plus (CCP) program while in high school
  • Summer sessions offering applied learning and service experiences
  • High stakes test preparation
  • Mentoring and advising
  • Parent workshops

Who should apply?

Interested students can apply in the fall of their 8th grade school year.

Our current Rising Scholars partners are the Canton City School District - McKinley High School; Alliance City School District - Alliance High School; Canton Local School District - Canton South High School; Plain Local School District - Glenoak High School; and Fairless Local School District - Fairless High School.

The application for admission will be available in September for current partner school districts.