The kind support of the Class of 1949 established the very first endowment with the Aberdeen Public Schools Foundation for the Rising Scholars Program. The endowment started in 2006-07 with two $2,5000 donations by Jelane McGrew in memory of her husband Ron (CHS Class of 1949), in addition to donations by numerous other classmates and friends. The HKG Challenge grant provided $3,342 in funding in 2009, sending the fund over the $10,000 mark so that it could start disbursing grants to students. The fund continues to grow through donations from ‘49ers and others.
The APS Foundation also supports vision and value of the Rising Scholars Program from our general fund. Grant money awarded to students each year comes from both the Foundation and endowment.
The interest from the Rising Scholars Endowment was originally used to help reduce the cost of tuition ($25/credit) for our high school students taking college classes at Northern and Presentation while still at Central.
With the advent of the Dual Credit Program, tuition is now greatly reduced for these students, and they have the opportunity to take classes at any of the state universities and tech schools.
The Rising Scholars Program is funded in part by the Class of ’49 Rising Scholars Endowment. Rising Scholars Book Grants support CHS students taking dual credit classes at SD colleges and tech schools or online learning classes. Juniors and seniors enrolling in these classes can apply for book reimbursement grants (up to $50/class). Rising Scholars Book grants were awarded to 120 CHS students taking 186 college and dual credit classes in 2019-20.
Rising Scholars funds also help defray the cost of college level Advanced Placement (AP) exams upon completion of year-long CHS AP courses for students qualifying for free/reduced meals. CHS students earn college credit by scoring well on the AP exams.
In the last 5 years, over $31,000 in Rising Scholars grants have been awarded to more than 500 CHS students to help them take advantage of college credit opportunities.