/High schoolers get unique chance to sample college

High schoolers get unique chance to sample college

Students in high school on the Gulf Coast or Jackson have an opportunity to apply for financial aid for college courses. The U.S. Department of Education selected Jackson State University and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College to participate in an experiment pilot program that allows high school seniors and juniors from low-income families to apply for a Pell Grant to help them take college courses or to participate in dual enrollment. U.S. U.S. Mitchell spoke to a packed audience in the School of Engineering building at Jackson State. Mitchell stated that dual enrollment has been a barrier to students who require financial aid to pay for some of these programs. “For students who aren’t sure about college, it’s important that there is a clear, tangible pathway to help them see the possibility of attending college. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Jackson State were among the 44 colleges selected to participate in the program. The program’s purpose is to determine if college access can be made earlier in life, given that statistics show that only 10% of children who are born into the lowest income bracket complete a bachelor’s degree by the age of 25. Mitchell stated that this means college costs are lower and you will spend less time and money. It’s an accelerator. It is also a way to break down cultural barriers and help students see and understand that they can do this work. In the first year, only 33 Jackson high school students participated in the program. The number of students on the coast was smaller. Participation is open to students from all four counties along the coast. Carmen Walters, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s executive vice president for enrollment management, stated that “we want to really explain the possibilities and the responsibilities to the students.” To receive a financial aid amount that is based on their need, students must complete a federal financial aid form. Dual enrollment is only possible at the community college if students have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Jackson State requires students to have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and must receive a recommendation from a principal/guidance counselor. Isaiah McCoy, Murrah High School senior, and Myia Bolden, a Jackson State dual enrollment student, are enrolling at Jackson State this academic year. Bolden stated, “This program allows me to be a leader for those who want to participate in this program in the near future.” McCoy mentioned the chance to see college life and how it helps my parents. McCoy stated that there are many great benefits to the program. “You won’t have to spend so much time coming in as a freshman to college,” McCoy explained. McCoy stated, “I believe there are a lot of great benefits… so when you go to college and graduate from high school, you won’t have to have such a strenuous year coming in as a freshman.”