Kent State will provide free tuition for eligible students from LeBron James’ I Promise School

All 193 students, who are high school juniors, will be receiving free tuition to Kent State University

Lebron James
Students from the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I PROMISE Network react to learning that Kent State University will offer eligible students free tuition for four years and free room and board for one year. (Credit: Kent State)

Kent State University is providing the first graduating class from LeBron James’ I Promise School with the opportunity to earn a four-year, tuition-free scholarship, along with one year of free room and board.

There are 193 juniors at the Akron, Ohio school who are slated to become college freshman in the 2021-22 school year. Kent State’s financial package is available to these students who are admitted to the school, turn in the required financial aid paperwork and complete a set number of community service hours each semester according to The program covers four years of tuition that is not already paid out from financial-aid sources, along with room and board and meals during their freshman year.

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“We are so pleased to take our partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to this next level and welcome these students fully into the Kent State family,” Kent State University President Todd Diacon said to “Kent State looks forward to the time when our campus is teeming with I Promise students.”

Melody Tankersley, KSU’s interim senior vice president and provost, said the scholarship is in keeping with LeBron James’ motto of “In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given, everything is earned.”

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“This was earned,” Tankersley told the newspaper. “We have already seen the impressive results that the I Promise Network is having on its participating students. The efforts of the I Promise students are to be celebrated.”

The LeBron James Family Foundation started the I Promise Network in 2011. It has since grown to more than 1,400 Akron students in sixth through 11th grade, who receive mentoring, college and career preparation and family support from the foundation.

Michelle Campbell, executive director of the foundation, thanked Kent State for recognizing and rewarding the students’ hard work.

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“We are so excited that our students that have worked incredibly hard have earned even more life-changing opportunities to grow and excel,” Campbell said to “We are so thankful to the entire Kent State family for believing in our students and providing exactly the type of programming and support they need to be successful not only in school, but in life.”

After the initial start of the scholarship, Kent State and the foundation say they hope to provide more funding for future I Promise graduating classes. In addition to Kent State, the University of Akron has also created a scholarship program for I Promise students.