Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) has been awash in funding since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The school has been doing things like waiving fees and helping students pay to repair their cars when they break down. On Thursday, May 5, GTCC President Anthony Clark gave a presentation to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners at which he touted the latest big perk – the school’s “Access Amazing” scholarship program.
The scholarship is reminiscent of the now defunct Say Yes scholarship model. That is, it is a “last dollar” scholarship meant to remove financial barriers for those who want to attend college.
According to the information Parker provided to the commissioners at the May 5 work session, the scholarship “pays the remaining balance of student in-state tuition, college fees, and course fees once all other federal and state grants, and outside and college scholarships and sponsorships are applied.”
There’s $3.2 million in funding available for the program, which is open to graduates from any public or private Guilford County high school – or a registered home-school equivalent.
Some GTCC students will get as much as $4,500 of annual in-state tuition and fees covered – and no eligible student will pay more than $500 for in-state tuition, college and course fees per semester.
In fact, most students, if they qualify for Pell and state grants, will owe absolutely nothing to GTCC once these scholarships kick in.
There are some things to keep in mind.
For one, to be eligible, students have to enroll in college credit courses at GTCC in the fall semester immediately following their graduation from a Guilford County high school.
The Access Amazing scholarship covers both full-time and part-time students for up to two years.
Those who want to take advantage of the program need to:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Apply for GTCC scholarships
- Attend an Access Amazing Scholar Program orientation in the fall
Then, the students must maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA, as well as meet other criteria, if they want to keep that money flowing in.
Wait a minute! I paid for my and my children’s education. Can I have my money back?
By going to a 2-year program and then transferring to a 4-year state college program using scholarships, grants, and other funding you can graduate with little or no college debt. I used this strategy in the mid to late 1970s to earn my BA and MEd degrees. You have to be creative, work hard, study, and understand you are going to have to be dedicated to school and work for four years and focus on your education and working to pay for schooling and housing. When school is over you should have an idea of where you will begin working. Choose the best place you can afford to pay off within the time you are done going to school so that when you graduate your school debt is paid. You’ll be happier for it.
It is a great strategy. So many Freshmen and Sophomore classes are basic intro courses, silly to pay over $2k per course when GTCC can offer transfer credits for a couple $200 per course. And given that a lot of Freshmen and Sophomore classes are taught in lecture halls with several hundred students and an aid as the teacher…makes all the more sense.