Free tuition will be available for Minnesota high school seniors who enroll in qualifying career and technical programs for fall semester at Lake Superior College. Funding is available on a first come, first serve basis.
“It is important for high school students graduating from a Minnesota high school in 2016 to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to apply to Lake Superior College as soon as possible,” said Michael Seymour, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at LSC.
Created by the 2015 Minnesota Legislature, the MnSCU (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System) Two-Year Occupational Grant Pilot Program provides students financial help at two-year colleges so they can complete occupational and career programs within two years and find employment in high-demand occupations.
“Last year’s legislative session focused on workforce challenges and filling skills gaps,” said LSC President Patrick Johns. “Industries including healthcare, aviation, machining and welding are having trouble finding qualified workers. This grant is designed to make it easier to train people for high-wage, high-demand careers.”
Lake Superior College offers 84 programs that qualify for the Occupational Grant Pilot Program. In order for a student to participate in the program, the student must start an occupational program during Lake Superior College’s 2016 fall term, which begins August 22.
The grant does come with its limitations. Students must be graduating high school this year, have a household income of less than $90,000 per year, and must go into a program approved by the grant. LSC Director of Financial Aid LaNita Robinson said the program would be most beneficial to those with a family income between $50,000 and $90,000. “This new grant will help families that previously didn’t benefit from any types of grants,” she said.
In addition to recent high school graduates, students are also eligible if they:
- Completed an Adult Basic Education program or passing a GED test as a Minnesota resident during the 2015-2016 academic year; or
- Completed a 12 or 24-month AmeriCorps program during the 2015-2016 academic year that started immediately after high school graduation.
Qualifying programs include careers in business, health care, technical/trade, aviation, business, manufacturing, computer science, transportation and others. The grant will cover any remaining tuition and general fee charges after the student’s federal Pell Grant and Minnesota State Grant have been applied to the student’s account. The grant is available for up to 72 semester credits, including any required developmental courses taken after admission to the occupational program.
If a student is enrolled in a qualifying program, the student has to maintain a 2.5 GPA and has to participate in a mentoring program or funding will be canceled for the second year. Applications will be ranked by the date received.