Tulsa Community College will announce today a new scholarship program that will pay up to 100 percent of tuition and mandatory fees for up to 60 college credit hours for any student living in Tulsa County and graduating from a Tulsa public or private high school.
TCC President and CEO Tom McKeon said the goal of this program, called Tulsa Achieves, is to increase the number of college graduates in Tulsa County, partly to the benefit of the local business community.
According to the 2005 U.S. Census, 22.4 percent of Oklahoma’s population age 25 and older has earned a bachelor’s degree, compared to 27.2 percent of the total U.S. population. Oklahoma ranks 42nd in the nation in terms of the percentage of its population holding a college degree. In Tulsa County, only 21 percent of all residents have college degrees.
Each year approximately 1,000 Tulsa County high school seniors enroll at TCC the following fall. TCC estimated that as many as 500 additional students will apply for Tulsa Achieves this fall.
TCC will fund Tulsa Achieves via a combination of budget strategies. Since 2004 the College has added $900,000 to its annual scholarship fund for students. This fiscal year, the fund earmarked for student scholarships exceeds $2.4 million.
Also, thanks to the success of private fundraising for technology and learning equipment needs – which traditionally came from the College operating budget – TCC is able to shift funds to scholarship programs.
Students must meet certain guidelines to remain a Tulsa Achieves scholar while at TCC. They must maintain good academic standing (2.0 GPA or higher), enroll continuously each fall and spring semester (summer optional), complete a financial aid application (FAFSA) each year and provide 40 hours of community service per academic year. The student may participate in community service through TCC’s Service Learning programs or other volunteer programs. The Tulsa Achieves scholarship will be applied to tuition and mandatory fees after all other scholarship and grants have been exhausted.
The Tulsa Achieves scholarship benefit will vary according to the length of a student’s residence in Tulsa County. If a student moves into Tulsa County in 10th grade, he or she is eligible for 75 percent of the benefit amount. An 11th grade move-in is eligible for 50 percent benefits, and a 12th grade move-in is eligible for 25 percent.
To receive the Tulsa Achieves scholarship, the student must live in Tulsa County and graduate from high school with a 2.0 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale. Home-schooled students living in Tulsa County are also eligible for participation, with parent verification.
Students must apply by April 30 and have the following forms on file: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), TCC Application, ACT/SCT test scores, four-year high school transcript, and the Tulsa Achieves program form.
Tulsa Achieves information and financial aid sessions will be held every Saturday in April. Information is also available on all campuses during regular business hours.