Graduating seniors across Mississippi are competing against each other to win a class picnic for their school when they apply for admission to Jackson State University. It’s all part of JSU’s Tiger Commitment Challenge, a statewide competition for public school students who would like their college experience to occur at JSU.
Schools compete in six divisions based on size and student population. The school from each division with the highest number of graduating seniors to complete the application process by April 10 will win a senior class picnic sponsored by the university and held on its campus. Forty-five schools are participating in the challenge so far.
The winners will be announced Friday, April 12, during the Blue-and-White Weekend, an annual athletic event.
“Everyone wins in this competition,” said Dr. Nicole Evans. “All of the students get the encouragement that’s essential for them to start to process to pursue a college degree.”
Evans, assistant provost for Institutional Research and Planning, said enrollment applications are expected to increase by as much as 5,000 through the process.
Students at Wingfield High School in Jackson are competing in Division 5A. Senior Ashley Johnson has completed her application.
“I want to go to Jackson State because they have a nice campus and I have other relatives who attended,” Johnson said.
JSU is Mississippi’s urban university. It’s located in the heart of the capital city and currently serves nearly 9,000 students. The university is accredited by the Commission of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. JSU is a top producer of African-American educators and biological and biomedical scientists and offers excellent programs in each of its five colleges. From art to engineering, JSU’s quality degree programs challenge students while nurturing their interests and talents.
Amanda Elzy High School Principal Jacqueline Boyd said there are 125 graduating seniors at her school this year. So far, the Greenwood school is leading in the challenge in the 4A Division.
“We encourage our students to take advantage of any opportunity to complete a college application, “ Boyd said. “We offer our students help in the process. We have a career technical center where they can go online and complete an application. We have somebody full time to assist.”
Boyd said she was excited to hear about JSU’s Tiger Commitment Challenge.
“I’m all for it. My husband went to JSU. My daughter currently is there and my son cannot wait to go,” Boyd said. “Amanda Elzy is committed to doing whatever it takes to support a university that’s rich in tradition and has made a difference in our community.”