Op-Ed: In Kentucky, Free Tuition Available for These Programs
According to labor data from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, there are 80,000 unfilled jobs in Kentucky. I’m sure this is not news to you. This is a significant challenge in our region. Gateway and our business community have been working on solutions. Now, I’m pleased to announce that Governor Bevin and Hal Heiner, Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary, have joined us in addressing this challenge with the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship.
Secretary Heiner initiated this scholarship program to address the abundance of jobs in Kentucky that remain open due to a lack of skilled workers to fill the positions. Secretary Heiner made an announcement in June and a media campaign began July 1 to promote the scholarship program. I’m asking you to help with this effort by making your employees, family members, friends and neighbors aware of this opportunity.
This scholarship will provide free tuition for Kentucky citizens who want to earn a certificate or diploma that will prepare them for high wage, high demand careers in five sectors:
Business Services/Information Technology
The scholarship will cover up to 32 credit hours in a program leading to one of the five sectors. The funds are available to cover tuition and fees not covered by federal grants and third party scholarships.
To qualify for this scholarship, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is a Kentucky resident and has not earned a college degree of ANY type. There are no age or income requirements to qualify. The scholarship has a rolling deadline and will be available until the funding runs out. Therefore, we want to encourage all eligible participants to apply as soon as possible.
To apply for the scholarship, an applicant must follow these steps:
1. Complete an application to any Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) college or approved institution and select a qualified Work Ready Scholarship Program.
2. Complete the Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FASFA).
3. Complete the Work Ready Scholarship with the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority (KHEAA).
Scholarships will be administered by KHEAA and all awards communicated through KHEAA to the student.
For details on this program, visit Gateway’s Work Ready landing page that provides detailed information. A link to this page is available on the homepage banner images. Or, you can go to WorkReadyKentucky.com or kheaa.com for the same information. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me.
I hope you will encourage anyone who may qualify for this scholarship to apply. The goal is not only to help individuals, but to help our entire community by raising the quality of life for all.
Dr. Fernando Figueroa is the president of Gateway Community & Technical College.
Photo: Gateway Community & Technical College campus in Boone County (RCN file)