College stuns LeBron's 'I Promise' students with free tuition

In 2018, LeBron James and the Akron public school system opened the I Promise school, focused on educating at-risk students in James’ hometown.

The school launch was part of an existing I Promise Network that the LeBron James Family Foundation initiated in 2011 to provide support for at-risk students across the Akron school district.

On Wednesday, the first graduating class associated with the I Promise Network got exciting news. They’re eligible for four years of free tuition at Kent State University.

Students surprised by announcement

The school announced the offer at a ceremony with members of the I Promise class and their families.

How the program works

The tuition guarantee is being offered to the 193 students of the I Promise Network in the junior class of Akron’s school system. They’ll be eligible to enroll for the 2021-22 academic year.

According to the school, students must be admitted to Kent State and apply for standard financial aid packages. The school would then cover the cost of tuition beyond financial aid awards.

Students are required to meet a minimum number of hours of community service each semester.

First-year housing and meal plans will also be covered. Students will maintain their free tuition for four years as long as they remain in good academic standing and meet community service and credit-hour requirements.

The school also announced a fundraising effort to cover books and room and board beyond the first year for students in need.

“We are so pleased to take our partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to this next level and welcome these students fully into the Kent State family,” KSU president Todd Diacon said. “Kent State looks forward to the time when our campus is teeming with I Promise students.”

11 PHOTOS
LeBron James' I Promise school
See Gallery
LeBron James' I Promise school
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: Confetti erupts after the ceremonial raising of the new school flag at the grand opening of the I Promise school on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The new school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and Akron Public Schools. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: The entrance of the new I Promise school on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The new school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and Akron Public Schools. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: A display of LeBron James' sneakers in the lobby of the new I Promise school on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The new school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and Akron Public Schools. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: Large inspirational murals at the I Promise school on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The new school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and Akron Public Schools. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: LeBron James addresses the media following the grand opening of the I Promise school on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The new school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and Akron Public Schools. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: Classroom signs at the I Promise school on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The new school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and Akron Public Schools. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: A collection of LeBron James shoes decorate the entrance to the I Promise School on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The School is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and the Akron Public School and is designed to serve Akron's most challenged students. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: The Singing Angels perform at the grand opening of the I Promise School on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The new school is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and Akron Public Schools. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Allison Farrand/NBAE via Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: A collection of LeBron James shoes decorate the entrance to the I Promise School on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The School is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and the Akron Public School and is designed to serve Akron's most challenged students. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: LeBron James addresses the crowd during the opening ceremonies of the I Promise School on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
AKRON, OH - JULY 30: The Goodyear blimp flies over the I Promise School prior to the arrival of LeBron James on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio. The School is a partnership between the LeBron James Family foundation and the Akron Public School and is designed to serve Akron's most challenged students. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

More from Yahoo Sports:

Read Full Story