School superintendent donates $10,000 bonus to help seniors pay college application fees

Marietta school district Superintendent Grant Rivera will donate his $10,000 bonus to help high school seniors pay their college application fees. (Photo: Marietta City Schools)

For high school seniors, applying to college can be a daunting task. On top of the stress of writing essays, maintaining grades and keeping up with extracurricular activities, application fees may prevent some students from applying.

This year, however, students in one Marietta, Georgia school district do not have to worry about those payments, thanks to their superintendent.

Marietta City Schools Superintendent Grant Rivera said on Tuesday that he would donate his first $10,000 bonus to pay the college application fees for every student that plans to further their education and applies ahead of regular application deadlines.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the average cost of an application fee is approximately $43, but some schools may require between $70 and $90. For students who are applying to multiple schools, the fees can add up.

Rivera has served as Marietta's superintendent since November 2016, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He receives a bonus every three years if he receives a satisfactory performance review by the school board. But Rivera, who earns a base salary of $190,136, believes that teachers also deserve credit.

“I don’t believe that a bonus provided by the board should be earned on the backs of the teachers,” he said.

Rivera donated his $10,000 bonus to the Marietta Schools Foundation, which will distribute the money to the students.

Rivera did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment but told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he expects between 150 to 200 students of the graduating senior class of 500 will apply to college, but he expects the number could go higher. Any remaining funds from his donation will be used for bus trips to take students on college tours around Georgia.

“My hope is that it’s an incentive for kids to do the right thing,” Rivera said, adding that he hoped that encouraging the students to apply early to colleges will give them a better chance of receiving financial aid packages.

Representatives from the Marietta Board of Education did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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