Louisiana adults can go to community college for free, window open to apply
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana adults can apply for a program that will help them obtain a college degree and potentially land a high-demand, high-paying job for free.
The M.J. Foster Promise Program helps adults get a two-year degree or an eight-week training credential. Qualifying adults in Louisiana could get financial assistance, or a chance to train in certain high-demand fields.
Community colleges and technical colleges across the state offer the program, opening the door for opportunities in the fields of health care, transportation and logistics, manufacturing, information technology, and construction.
You have to be at least 21, and there are no academic requirements.
Quintin Taylor, chancellor at River Parishes Community College, said this program is a game changer and a way to help retain talent in the state.
“The jobs are there, but we don’t have enough skilled people to fill the jobs,” said Taylor. “It would behoove of all of us in Louisiana to make sure our own babies, grandbabies, uncles, aunties, paw paws, and maw maws, are the ones to have opportunities to access those jobs.”
Schools, such as RPCC and BRCC, are offering the program.
“People who may not be able to afford to attend college or those who may not have been successful in high school the first time around, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have the opportunity to cross that bridge into greater prosperity to take care of them and their families,” said Taylor.
There were a few hiccups the first year the program launched because some people couldn’t complete their FAFSA, which left millions of dollars on the table. Lawmakers are currently working on a bill to still let applicants enroll and get help from a college counselor to get their paperwork done on time.
“We’re trying to put that foot in the door with these business and industry partners to where we can keep people within the state, we can keep people local, and show them how many opportunities there are here,” said Jeremy Whittemore, Dean of Applied Sciences at RPCC.
“I think it’s something that more individuals, specifically those who just need an opportunity to access it, and who don’t have the financial means to do as such,” Taylor said.
The window for the program is open. The priority deadline for select students is set for June 15.
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