When Tuition Costs Rise Grants Step-up to the Plate

Tuition is rising all over the country, and students are facing increasing pressure to be able to cover the cost of their degrees. So many positions, even entry-level, require at least some college, if not all-out requiring a bachelor’s degree in their application requirements. This makes it incredibly important for students to have alternative options so that they can complete their degrees, especially in areas of study like science and engineering. The National Science Foundation is a federal agency whose core mission is to give support to all fundamentals of science and engineering outside of any medical sciences.

Every year, the National Science Foundation awards grants to educational institutions, so that those schools can offer scholarships to students who are studying in those fields. In Florida, one singular community college was chosen to be awarded a grant in the amount of $1 million, so that they can offer 60 scholarships to selected students. 

Tallahassee Community College has been awarded this prestigious grant of $1 million from the National Science Foundation, and will now be able to offer 60 scholarships over the span of four years to selected students. TCC is not only the only community college to be awarded this grant, but they are also one of only a few state colleges to receive funds from NSF. The college made the announcement at the end of their STEM Summit, an annual event that the college holds for over 100 high schools. 

Offering scholarships like this will give opportunities to students who would otherwise have had to worry about the extent of their tuition and fees. There is an increasing number of students who every year choose to pursue an associate of arts at Tallahassee Community College in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math) field. Anthony Jones, Dean of Division Science and Math at Tallahassee Community College had a lot to say about what being able to offer these scholarships could mean for students: “Many of our students are coming in from underrepresented populations and they do not have the support or the financial resources to be successful. This is a critical piece of that.” Jones continues by saying that 25-30% of all students who seek a degree at TCC choose to major in subjects that fall under the general STEM umbrella. This also includes nursing and engineering, but the NSF scholarships are under a more limited scope of focus. The NSF grant focuses specifically on natural sciences: biology, chemistry, physics, and computer science. 

The team at TCC started preparing for this educational grant in the fall of 2018 and submitted it’s application in March of 2019. This is actually the third grant that TCC has been awarded by the NSF, and the largest so far. 

Applications are now open for the first 15 students to be chosen for these scholarships that will cover full tuition and fees for the Fall 2020 semester. Beyond just tuition and fees though, students will also be provided with mentors, tutoring, travel opportunities as well as opportunities and encouragement for students to conduct research under faculty support.

This grant will continue up until the year 2023.

Tallahassee Community College also offers over 400 scholarships annually through the TCC Foundation to both traditional and non-traditional students.

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