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Free Tuition Pathway for NKU, Gateway Announced for Some NKY Students

Some Northern Kentucky high school students may soon be eligible for free tuition and other benefits through Gateway Community & Technical College and Northern Kentucky University.

The two institutions announced on Monday that the River City Promise builds upon the Gateway2NKU dual admission program, which offers degree pathways for students at both schools.

The program applies to Pell grant-eligible students from Bellevue, Dayton, Holmes, Lloyd, Ludlow, and Newport high schools who graduate in May and beyond.

“To truly increase access, it takes a holistic approach to ensure students have a clear path on their educational experience,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “As we were renewing the successful Gateway2NKU program, it became clear that we could make a greater impact by extending it to high school students, so they begin their higher education journey with support from both institutions.”

All students participating in the River City Promise and Gateway2NKU programs will have a newly dedicated service center on Gateway’s campus for a smooth transition between the two institutions. It provides advising, financial literacy, admissions guidance, and career alignment services. 

“Renewing our Gateway2NKU program strengthens, not only the bond between Gateway and NKU, but also our region,” said Gateway President Dr. Fernando Figueroa. “Having two strong education institutions working hand-in-hand to help our students succeed will help to ease our region's highly skilled workforce needs.”

NKU students also benefit from Gateway2NKU’s reverse transfer–once they reach 60 hours, they can apply to receive their associate degree from Gateway. Additional benefits include joint recruitment and marketing opportunities, integrated orientation to ease the transition to campus and access to shared facilities.

“This partnership shows the commitment both institutions share in providing opportunities for students to earn highly-valued degrees. River City Promise promotes student success and social mobility,” said Kimberly Scranage, NKU’s vice president for Enrollment and Degree Management.

Since its inception in 2013, NKU has graduated 465 Gateway transfer students, with 128 participating in the Gateway2NKU program.

“The announcement of the River City Promise Program is a tremendous boost to our region's efforts to grow and retain talent," said Gene Kirchner, vice president and COO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. "Northern Kentucky is experiencing a workforce shortage. Partnerships like this are critically important to ensuring that young people have access to educational opportunities which directly align with the current and future demand for skilled workers.”   

A signing event is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. at the Gateway Technology, Innovation and Enterprise Building on Madison Avenue in Covington.

-Staff report

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