Painesville Promise

As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Education helps people become better citizens, qualify for better jobs and grow into responsible leaders. Whether students choose a traditional university or trade school, continuing education creates hope for the future.


Painesville City is behind in the education attainment of its residents. According to 2018 census data, although Lake County records 27.9% of its population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, Painesville City residents are only at 16.3%. This puts Painesville well behind the state average of 26.7% and national average of 30.3%, posing many challenges for businesses and organizations seeking a well-educated workforce and limiting the pool of candidates for future community leaders.

What is the Painesville Promise

The Painesville Promise is a public-private partnership designed to help advance the mutual goals of the City of Painesville, Painesville City public high school students and Lake Erie College.


Lake Erie College offers millions in institutional aid for its students but does not attract a large number of local Painesville students to the college. The college has a vested interest in attracting local commuting students to the campus, for it allows the college to grow without the burden of increased housing infrastructure and aligns with the college’s diversity and inclusion plans to attract more academically well-prepared, commuter students.


Many Painesville City students already qualify for federal and state need-based grants and academic scholarships. However, as part of the Painesville Promise, these well-prepared students would be able to attend Lake Erie College for four years without paying any out of pocket costs and without taking on a single loan to pay for their tuition and fees. Additional charges would still apply for books or if they chose to live on campus.


This strategic partnership will increase the education attainment in Painesville City and further grow the partnership between the City, the local school systems and the College. This initiative hopes to also serve as an incentive for students to remain in and serve their home community.

How it Works

Any graduating senior (grade 12) who lives within Painesville City limits and attends a public high school, qualifies for the Painesville Promise. The City has two school districts students may attend: Painesville City Local Schools (Harvey High School) and Riverside Local Schools (Riverside High School). The program is currently limited to 20 students per academic year.


Breakdown of costs to fund this program (Tuition and Fees for 2021 - $34,046):

  • Full Federal Pell Grant: $6,345

  • Full Ohio College Opportunity Grant: $3,500

  • City of Painesville Promise Grant: $2,000

  • Lake Erie College Grant: $22,201


As part of this public-private partnership, the City of Painesville has committed to offering a $2,000 Promise Grant to eligible students with a four year commitment, as long as students meet the agreed upon renewal criteria. After the 2021-2022 school year, the city intends to look for sponsors and donors to maintain this $2,000 commitment in the future.

Who is Eligible 

Residential Qualifications

  • Students must live within Painesville City, Ohio limits and attend a public high school

  • Students must be a resident of Painesville City, Ohio for at least two consecutive years

  • Students must be seeking their first undergraduate degree and be enrolled full-time


Academic Qualifications

  • Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above and a super-scored ACT of 18 or above or SAT score of 960 and above

  • Students must apply and be admitted to Lake Erie College

  • Lake Erie College will accept GPA through 7th semester and test scores through February test dates


Financial Qualifications

  • Families who file Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and include Lake Erie College (003066)

  • Families who are Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) eligible and full Federal Pell Grant eligible (families with an annual income less than $96,000)

  • This program qualifies for Lake Erie College tuition and regular fees but excludes additional fees such as residential halls, books or extracurricular programs


To learn more about this program and apply to Lake Erie College, visit