KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On Thursday, WATE 6 On Your Side partnered up with Project GRAD Knoxville to raise money for students in need of a laptop with the 4th Annual Project Grad Laptop Telethon.

As of Thursday evening, $70,065 was raised for deserving scholars. The final total will be determined after additional online donations are counted.

Last year, more than $61,000 was raised in the third annual laptop telethon.

Project GRAD operates in Fulton and Austin-East magnet high schools, but the program targets student success throughout their entire academic careers by offering resources and support at the elementary and middle levels to 12 feeder Knox Ed Foundation Community schools.

When the program began in 2001, the high school graduation rate at Project GRAD schools was 50%. Today, it’s 83%. Postsecondary enrollment has also increased, growing from 30% to 56% for total graduating classes.

Learn More: Project GRAD Knoxville

While Project GRAD gives students who complete the program a $4,000 college scholarship, there isn’t enough in the budget for an important tool for college: A computer. Now more than any time before, a student’s success depends on access to technology.