New college program to offer graduating seniors free tuition
BY SUZANNE SELDES
In response to a pandemic that has disrupted lives and derailed plans for so many in the community, Indian River State College recently revealed its most significant investment ever in eliminating barriers to higher education.
At a special assembly for Fort Pierce Central High School seniors, the college launched the IRSC Promise Program — announcing tuition-free associate degrees for qualifying 2022 high school graduates from public and public charter schools in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.
“IRSC exists to change the lives of those we are here to serve,” IRSC president, Dr. Timothy Moore, announced. “No matter your background, household income or grade point average, if you are graduating from a public or public charter high school in our service district this spring, you can earn an A.A., A.S. or A.A.S. from IRSC tuition-free. We are not going to let anyone fall through the cracks.”
Sponsored by the IRSC Foundation, the IRSC Promise Program comes at a critical time. One million fewer students are enrolled in higher education today than two years ago. Consumer prices are 7.5% above January 2021 and rising. For many students and families, the cost of college can feel out of reach.
“The cost of tuition should never prevent anyone from pursuing their personal and academic goals,” said Michael Hageloh, interim vice president for Institutional Advancement. “The IRSC Promise Program, backed by the strength of the IRSC Foundation and led by the vision of the college’s district board of trustees, will help countless individuals stay the course and earn the education they require to build the futures they deserve. It is the ultimate investment in our community.”
Seventy-six percent of IRSC students remain in their community after graduation, contributing to the local economy as workforce members and consumers.
The IRSC Promise Program aims to make college education broadly accessible. Students do not need to demonstrate financial need and there is no GPA requirement for acceptance to the program.
Once in the program, students must maintain full-time enrollment status during fall, spring and summer terms and maintain satisfactory academic progress as they pursue an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science or Applied Associate in Science Degree.
To take advantage of the program, eligible high school seniors must commit to IRSC by taking the Promise Pledge [available at promise.irsc.edu] by May 15.
Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]