The Murphy Oil Company in Arkansas has announced quite possibly one of the most generous programs of its kind, and has pledged $50 million dollars to give scholarships for many high school graduates in its hometown of El Dorado.Â The program is set to begin with this year’s graduating class, many of whom are thrilled over the recent revelations.
El Dorado’s high school has a graduating class of about 250 students each year, 65% of which go to college.Â Now, there are some restrictions to the program, but it doesn’t look all that bad.Â Students can use the scholarship money at any school within the state of Arkansas, or at an out of state school.Â However, the annual scholarships are capped off at the highest resident tuition rate at an Arkansas public university, which is currently at $6,010.Â Students who have attended schools in El Dorado since kindergarten are eligible for the full amount, and students who have attended El Dorado schools for all four years of high school can get 65%.Â Â Students who have been in the school district for less than four years are not eligible for any scholarship money.
Murphy Oil plans to put up $5 million dollars per year for 10 years to fund the program.Â The program itself is expected to last 20 years, so its not clear what they do after year 10.Â Perhaps the $50 mil. is to be paid out by Murphy Oil for ten years, but distributed to students over the course of 20? It’s not quite clear.
Whatever the case, the more opportunities that students in that town have, the better.Â The average income in El Dorado is just slightly over $30,000, and Arkansas as a state has the country’s second lowest number of college graduates at a mere 16.7%.
Students in El Dorado, as well as their parents, were overjoyed at the news.Â Students apparently screamed and applauded when the program was announced, and a few were even spotted crying.Â El Dorado’s Superintendent Bob Watson told students at an assembly:Â “This is a huge day. As of today, El Dorado High School graduates will have an unprecedented opportunity to continue their education.”
And what did Murphy Oil have to say about all of this?Â Claiborne Deming, the company’s CEO and President, said: “We are committed to making El Dorado a great place to live and work, and we created the promise to further invest in El Dorado’s greatest resource, our children.”
Congrats to the city of El Dorado and the students who will benefit from this, and kudos to Murphy Oil for helping students who might not otherwise be able to go to college actually attend.