Kentucky high school seniors, months from graduating, may soon be able to go to community colleges for free. Lawmakers introduced a bill this week to provide free tuition to incoming college freshmen.
Supporters say if this bill passes, then thousands more high schoolers in Kentucky would be able to get a college degree.
“Cost is probably one of the most important things when looking at a college,” says Cory Storm, a senior at Owensboro High School. He, and Erin Rouse are looking at colleges, and factoring in a lot of things, including cost.
“It’s been a little stressful. There’s a lot of options out there,” says Rouse.
Lawmakers and community college officials are proposing the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship Program, providing free tuition for students attending one of the system’s 16 schools. Students must enroll for the fall semester, enroll for at least 12 credit hours, not be in default on any loans, and must get at least a 2.0 GPA to be eligible for spring semester.
“Since I’m thinking about going out of state, that has been an option I’ve thought about in the past is getting some general credits out of the way at a community college and that option would help obviously save so much money and be very beneficial,” says Rouse.
Rouse and Storm say while they’re looking at other colleges in and out of Kentucky, they would consider the proposed program if it existed, since it lessens any debt burden, and lets students focus on their studies.
“I actually would have taken this opportunity to take a probably two years to get my associates and then go on to a bigger university,” Storm says.
If lawmakers approve the bill this session, the scholarship program will start in the upcoming fall semester.