Select Dodge City Community College (DC3) workforce education programs will be available at no cost to eligible students beginning fall 2021, thanks to a new scholarship program designed to increase Kansans’ access to community colleges and technical schools.
The $10 million program, which is called the Kansas Promise Scholarship Act, was passed by the Kansas Legislature and signed by Governor Laura Kelly on April 23. It is available to recent Kansas high school graduates, as well as Kansans aged 21 (and older) who have resided in the state for at least three years. It is also open for dependents of military servicemembers.
The amounts of the new scholarships are based on information from a college students’ Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), along with any other financial aid he or she may be receiving. And students can use the scholarship money toward tuition, required fees, books and required program materials.
“The Promise scholarships are basically last-dollar funds. These kick in when all other scholarships are exhausted,” DC3 Vice President of Workforce Development, Dr. Clayton Tatro, said. “When other scholarships and grants are not sufficient to cover a student’s tuition and fees, the Kansas Promise Act will make up the difference. However, if students don’t hold up their end of the bargain, they have to pay the funds back.”
Tatro said the legislation permits students to enroll on a part-time or full-time basis, which would be at least six credit hours per semester. However, students have to maintain satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the eligible program—and complete the program within 30 months from the first scholarship award.
Upon completion of the program, students must reside and work in Kansas for a minimum of two consecutive years or enroll in a Kansas institution of higher education and subsequently reside and work in Kansas for a minimum of two consecutive years.
“If any condition of this agreement is not met and the student is not found to otherwise have satisfied the requirements in accordance with the Kansas Promise Scholarship Act, the student must repay the scholarship plus accrued interest, which would be at the federal PLUS program interest rate, within six months after failure to satisfy the agreement,” he said.
Causes for repayment would include students changing their enrollment to in-eligible programs or just not completing their programs of study. However, payment requirements may be postponed in some circumstances by the Kansas Board of Regents for “good cause,” Tatro said.
The following programs of study at DC3 are eligible for Kansas Promise Scholarship Act funding: building construction technology, climate and energy control technologies (HVAC), electrical technology, welding technology, early childhood education, nurse aide, medication aide, home health aide, nursing/registered nurse, computer science, and diesel technology.
For students, or potential students, who are interested in Kansas Promise Scholarship funds at DC3, more information is available online at dc3.edu or by calling (620) 227-9295.