SuperTalk Mississippi

Hattiesburg to pay graduates’ community college tuition

Photo courtesy of the City of Hattiesburg.

Some 2019 high school graduates will be attending Pearl River Community College (PRCC) tuition free. The City of Hattiesburg announced a City tuition Assistance program with the Forrest County Board of Supervisors.

The program will cover four semesters for any incoming college freshman in the City of Hattiesburg and Forrest County to attend PRCC.

“Pearl River Community College is always excited when we can expand opportunities for students,” said PRCC President, Dr. Adam Breerwood. “The tuition assistance program has been created as a joint effort with Forrest County and the City of Hattiesburg.  These parties understand the value of education and the creation of a strong workforce within our communities.  PRCC is hopeful in growing this program in other counties within the college’s district.  This would ensure more students have the opportunity to pursue their educational and career goals.”

The City of Hattiesburg has budgeted the money for the upcoming year and the tuition assistance will be available for 2019 graduates. While the Mayor’s office said they hope to continue the program in subsequent years, for now, 2019 graduates will be the only recipients. However, regardless of school, if a student is living in the city limits of Hattiesburg they are eligible.

Forrest County supervisors are contributing $100,000, while the Hattiesburg City Council is contributing $20,000.

“We believe education is a community value,” said Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker. “Our city can only go as far as the next generation can take us, and this partnership removes what can often be a barrier for graduating seniors. It’s an investment we’re proud to make for all of our students who live in the City of Hattiesburg.”

Students will not need a specific GPA to qualify but will need to maintain a 2.0 to continue receiving the tuition assistance. The tuition assistance is stackable with other forms of financial aid but does not cover the cost of room, board, or books.

Barker added that the money will go toward tuition for either a degree-seeking program or toward a certificate program at PRCC.

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