Thursday morning, CCTC President Dr. Michael Mikota, along with the superintendents from Sumter and Kershaw county school districts announced that free tuition is here for another five years through the Central Carolina Scholars program. Central Carolina Scholars was introduced in 2015 as a pilot program to provide the first two years of college education at CCTC tuition-free to eligible high school seniors in Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter counties. Due to the success and proven effectiveness of the progam, the college worked to extend the program for five more years.

Central Carolina Scholars is designed to draw students right out of high school onto the path of higher education, certification, apprenticeship or trade. The scholarship is an economic development tool for existing and new industries, it is a pipeline to boost the region’s skilled workforce and it is a guide for students on track to a baccalaureate degree. “There’s no greater gift than the gift of education. The retention rate of a Scholars student at CCTC is 28% higher than a traditional student. In higher education, that’s an impressive number. Students can save money by starting at Central Carolina and then transfer their credits to another college or university. Over the past five years, CCTC has had 1800 individuals transfer to 258 institutions in 47 states and the District of Columbia. That’s very powerful and it’s a tremendous cost saving opportunity for those who want to transfer credits to other institutions across our nation,” says CCTC President Dr. Mikota.

Kristen Jackson, a Kershaw native, graduated from Lugoff-Elgin High School in 2016 and entered into the Central Carolina Scholars program the same year. She graduated from CCTC in 2018 with an Associate Degree in Engineering Design Technology. With her degree, she is now employed as an engineering associate with the City of Sumter. “Central Carolina Scholars truly was a gift for me and I’m so thankful for what this scholarship has allowed me to do in my life. I graduated from CCTC with absolutely no debt and after graduating I went right into the workforce. I’ve been able to support my family without the stress of student loans. I’ve had the opportunity to buy a new car and to buy a house and it’s all thanks to Central Carolina Scholars,” says Jackson.

Central Carolina Scholars is a partnership between Central Carolina Technical College; all Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter County School Districts; all private high schools in Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter counties; the cities of Camden and Sumter; and Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee and Sumter County Councils.

Students eligible for the scholarship must: be a high school student in the graduating classes of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024; graduate from a high school in Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee or Sumter counties; test into college level coursework through ACT, SAT or CCTC placement exam scores; present a final high school transcript showing graduation date and minimum GPA of 2.0; begin taking classes in the summer or fall semester immediately following high school graduation; and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. Students who receive full financial aid from other sources will not qualify for scholarship funds. The scholarship covers tuition, technology fee, or lab fee not covered by federal, state, or other grants or scholarship. The scholarship will be applied after all other forms of financial aid have been exhausted. The scholarship will be provided for the duration of one program of study for up to two years (six consecutive semesters).
For more information about the Central Carolina Scholars program, visit: www.cctech.edu/admissions/central-carolina-scholars.