Posted: Apr 12, 2012 5:41 PM by Angela Douglas - Q2 News
Updated: Apr 12, 2012 5:55 PM
BILLINGS - A Bozeman businessman who recently sold his company for $1.5 billion has taken on a new venture.
Founder and former CEO of RightNow Technologies, Greg Gianforte, has partnered with ACE Scholarships out of Colorado and is bringing the private schools scholarship program to Montana.
The scholarships are based on need and range from $2,000 to $3,000 dollars, depending on the grade of the child.
If a student is awarded the scholarship, they will receive it for four-years.
The Gianforte Family Foundation made a pledge of $4.6 million to ACE to get the program in Montana.
At this point, 350 scholarships have been allocated to schools in Montana, but Gianforte hopes to have as many as 500 students enrolled for this coming fall across Montana.
"Montana is one only a couple of states in the country that has no school choice legislation," said Gianforte. "We have no charter schools, no vouchers, no tax credit scholarships and this is really a private sector effort to provide choice to families that wouldn't have it otherwise."
Currently 35 private schools in the state have partnered with ACE. Six of those schools are here in Billings.
Billings Catholic Schools will be receiving 24 scholarships.
"The best part is when ACE Scholarships makes a commitment to a student, they follow that student," said Billings Catholic Schools Foundation Executive Director Janyce Haider. "It's a four-year commitment so if a parent thinks, 'I don't want to get them in this year because what happens next year?' They have a four-year commitment from the scholarship as long as the student holds up their end of the bargain. Keep their grade point average up."
Billings ducational academy and Grace Montessori Academy have also partnered with ACE.
To be eligible, a family must meet the following financial guidelines: