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OCTC SELECTED FOR PELL EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM TO BENEFIT HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Owensboro Community amp; Technical College was one of 44 post-secondary institutions across the nation to participate in this program, allowing low-income students in Daviess, McLean, Ohio and Hancock counties to apply for federal Pell Grants funding for college courses while they are still in high school.

The Obama administration announced Monday that the United States Department of Education will invest $20 million in the 2016-17 school year in the dual enrollment program to help about 10,000 students. More information about the program can be found at: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fact-sheet-expanding-college-access-through-dual-enrollment-pell-experiment

OCTC President, Scott Williams commented OCTC is honored to be one of 44 colleges to pilot this experimental program. We have struggled with removing the financial barriers for some high school students. Having the option to utilize Pell Grants for dual enrollment students, and their parents throughout our service region is a great opportunity. We never want to construct programs that only benefit the financially advantaged student, but considering the cost of textbooks, and transportation, in addition to tuition, we were putting up more barriers for some students. Students who are college ready and willing to work hard should be able to capitalize on this opportunity.

Innovation is an important underpinning in our efforts to expand college access and increase college completion for our nation's students, said education undersecretary Ted Mitchell. These sites will help us learn how the availability of Pell Grants impacts participation and success in dual enrollment programs.

The funds will be available for the August 2016 semester, but procedures have not yet been established. We will have to work with our partners to identify those students who are college ready, and are willing to work hard, to make the most of this opportunity. It takes effort on the part of everyone involved, schools, students and parents. The success or failure of this project will determine the future access of the funds for high school students for the next generation added Williams.

A foundational element of this program is the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Parents or students interested in this program should fill out the free application for admission to OCTC, located at www.owensboro.kctcs.edu and select apply now. The FAFSA can also be found online at https://fafsa.ed.gov or students and parents may contact the OCTC Financial Aid office who can help guide families through the process. To make an appointment call 270.686.4521.