UA announces Zips Promise Scholarship to support I PROMISE graduates


For I-Promise School students and aides hold T-shirts that say We Are Family

The University of Akron (UA) is celebrating and extending its commitment to the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I PROMISE students by introducing the Zips Promise Scholarship.

This new scholarship, valued at more than $13,000 per year, will offer housing and meals for up to four years of study to five first-time, full-time students graduating from the I PROMISE program’s class of 2021, the inaugural class of LeBron James’ students that initially joined the program in third grade, and the first to achieve college eligibility. 

The full room-and-board scholarship is in addition to the free tuition and general fees that all qualifying I PROMISE students receive from UA as part of the agreement made in 2015 with the LeBron James Family Foundation. 

“The University of Akron is committed to educational opportunity for all students and we are excited to mark the occasion of the first I PROMISE graduating class with the Zips Promise Scholarship,” says UA President Gary L. Miller. ”We value our partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation and want to deepen our commitment to ensuring these students have all of the wrap around support needed to succeed in college.” 

Opportunities available at UA

In addition to room and board, the Zips Promise Scholarships will grant students opportunities for mentorship and the ability to secure on-campus employment for up to 15 hours per week during the active term. I PROMISE students must apply for the scholarship and include an essay that describes their ability to achieve in challenging environments, sharing strategies allowing for their success and explaining how the experience can be applied to their studies at UA. 

To maintain the scholarship each year, students must earn a 2.25 cumulative grade point average by the completion of 30 earned credits, participate in programs and mentorship opportunities, and remain in good disciplinary standing.

“When we brought in our very first class of I PROMISE students and their families over a decade ago, college was not even a thought in most of their minds. There were so many barriers, they believed college was not an option for them,” says Michele Campbell, executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation. “Our longtime partnership with The University of Akron changed that completely, and gave our students more to strive for. Now that our first class is eligible for college, we know how much these scholarships, and the opportunity to have free housing and meals for all four years, mean to our families. It truly has changed the trajectory of our families’ lives and we are so excited for their futures. We can’t wait to walk alongside them and our partners at The University of Akron as their educational journeys continue.”

For more information, visit the Zips Promise Scholarship website.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or