Capital city college students can take advantage of the latest technology and online resources to get an education.
But some of those opportunities come at a steep price.
The University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, for example, is offering students $2,000 in scholarships to attend a community college program, but the college’s website says the scholarship is not renewable and only valid for one academic year.
The program, which is part of a nationwide pilot program, is meant to provide a competitive advantage to students who have lower scores on the ACT.
It also lets students pay for tuition by enrolling in online courses at a local college, said Mark Gulliver, associate vice president of enrollment and financial aid.
“We have a very high need of students with high-needs and with a high degree of debt and we are looking at ways to get those students out of debt,” Gulliversaid.
The $2.5 million scholarship is part, in part, of a $1 million pilot project to increase the number of students who can afford to attend college and earn a bachelor’s degree.
The project has raised $1.3 million, with a $500,000 goal.
About 75% of the students enrolled in the pilot program have a debt load exceeding $50,000, Gullivesaid.
“So it is a huge incentive for these students to make that transition to higher education,” Gullyiver said.
“What this means for students who are currently in a position where they can’t afford a bachelor of arts degree is, they are going to have an opportunity to get their degree, and it is going to be a real benefit to them,” he said.
The pilot program is also offering students access to a website where they are able to see the financial aid breakdown of students enrolled for free.
It’s not available to students enrolled full-time at the community college.
Students who do enroll in the online program must pay tuition by the semester and can earn up to $6,000.
“I think that’s really a big part of why we are really seeing a trend of the number and number of community college students who go online now, is because of the tremendous support they have received through the program,” Guluiver said of the scholarship.
The initiative is part the College Access Initiative launched by the Education Department in October 2015.
The department said it is working to increase accessibility for students.
Community colleges and community colleges should continue to do everything they can to ensure students can have the education they need to succeed.”