Program to cover cost of tuition and fees at any technical college in the state
Governor Henry McMaster announced a $17 million investment into South Carolina’s workforce through the creation of the Workforce Scholarships for the Future pilot program. He called on the General Assembly to provide $124 million in additional funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to extend the program through June 30, 2024. The first $17 million investment comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.
McMaster says the initiative will address South Carolina’s labor shortage by providing scholarships to cover the cost of tuition and required fees at any technical college in the state. Any adult or recent high school graduate in the state will be eligible. Scholarship funds may only be used for associate degrees or industry credentials in high-demand careers like manufacturing, health care, computer science and information technology, transportation distribution and logistics, or construction. The anticipated 15,000 scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.0 GPA and complete one of the following requirements: complete 100 hours of voluntary time to a nonprofit or public-service organization; or are employed; or take a financial literacy class offered at the technical college.
The program will go into effect on January 1, 2022. As reported yesterday, Spartanburg Community College saw marked growth when its free tuition program was enacted, including big gains in students aged 24 and older and minority students.