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 Powerball Promise 

Our report, Uncovering the Tripwires to Postsecondary Success, highlighted the birthright lottery -- the set of socioeconomic and family factors impacting a student’s ability to access and complete college -- and our team learned about a policy that entrenched that inequity even further. 

All revenues of the Kentucky lottery were meant to go towards the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, the College Access Program and Kentucky Tuition Grant, but years of diversion meant that nearly one-quarter of the funds were slipping out. While KEES remained supported, CAP and KTG, two need-based scholarships, were chronically underfunded. Two-thirds of eligible students were denied. 

Our team started the Powerball Promise campaign to push the state legislature to restore all $34 million that had been diverted and to support Kentucky students. In coalition with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy and through a combination of op-eds, lobbying meetings, and rallies in the Capitol, our team saw success. $14 million of this money was restored. 

The restoration impacted 8,000 Kentucky students, ensuring greater college accessibility and proving students can impact their own education.

 

Read Our Takes

January 23, 2016

Time to Fix Broken Powerball Promise

Eliza Jane Schaeffer

Kentucky sells a lottery ticket every 35 seconds. Throngs of people, drawn by the promise of a $1.5 billion jackpot, rushed to buy tickets before the Powerball drawing earlier this month. Many perhaps justified their purchase by assuring themselves that the money they spent would go toward education. The Kentucky Lottery even encourages this line of thinking with its “Where the Money Goes” television advertisement, which features the slogan “Fueling Imagination, Funding Education.”

February 25, 2016

Value of Investing in Low-Income Students

Eliza Jane Schaeffer, Jake Waford and Michaela Bowman

Ask most any high school senior what their biggest worry is, and they’ll tell you it’s affording college. That shouldn’t come as a surprise; college tuition has ballooned at an unprecedented rate. From 2008 to 2015, residential undergraduate tuition at four-year institutions in Kentucky has increased by 44 percent, and tuition in the Kentucky Career and Technical College System has increased by 31 percent.

April 13, 2016

A Tale of Two Kentuckys

The future of the Commonwealth and America rests squarely on the shoulders of today’s young people. That is why we are appealing to the leadership of this state to invest further in the students of Kentucky.

April 15, 2016

Statement on General Assembly Passing the Budget

The Prichard Committee Student Voice Team thanks the General Assembly for passing a budget which puts lottery funds toward their intended purpose: supporting students to further their education. For the first time in Kentucky history, all lottery revenue will be used to fund college scholarships. The Commonwealth honored the Powerball Promise.

May 15, 2016

A Win for Students This Legislative Session

Amanda Wahlstedt

Jay Shrader, a senior at Shelby County High School, worries about how he will pay for college, calling his acceptance to Eastern Kentucky University “bittersweet.” He knows, “the first semester at EKU is about $3500... and the last time I was ever around a thousand dollars was never.”

Read the News Coverage

Lexington Herald-Leader
January 26, 2016

Bevin’s budget spares K-12 schools, cuts higher education

Lexington Herald-Leader
January 28, 2016

Kentucky breaks promise to needy students

Lexington Herald-Leader
April 4, 2016

Politicians are pricing Ky.’s college students out of a future

Lexington Herald-Leader
April 23, 2016

Financial aid for up to 30,000 restored at the wire

Prichard Committee
May 19, 2016

Team's Push Wins Millions for Financial Aid

Lexington Herald-Leader
November 11, 2016

Student presidents protest broken ‘Powerball Promise’ to help low-income students

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