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MTC offers free tuition to Fairfield County graduates

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Midlands Technical College is offering free tuition, beginning with the class of 2019, to high school or GED graduates in Fairfield County through the Fairfield County Promise Program, a partnership between Midlands Tech and the Fairfield County School District.

Ron Rhames, MTC president, Fairfield County School District Superintendent J.R. Green and Fairfield County Administrator Jason Taylor signed a memorandum of understanding Monday morning at the college’s campus in Winnsboro.

Ronald L. Rhames, president of MTC (left to right), Fairfield County School District board chairman William Frick and Fairfield County Council chairman Cornelius Robinson sign a memorandum of understanding on Monday. (Photo/Provided)The program is a scholarship funded through the county and the school district that covers the cost of tuition and fees after federal and state aid has been applied. 

“The goal of the Fairfield Promise is to increase access to higher education and create a culture that leads to the completion of a college degree,” Rhames said in a news release. “When these students graduate from MTC, they will be highly skilled, ready to work, and should have no college debt to repay.”

To qualify, students must enroll at Midlands Tech within nine months of completing their GED or graduating from high school and complete a federal financial aid form. Graduates of public, charter and private high schools or state-approved home schools, as well as GED recipients living in Fairfield County, are eligible.

“We are more than just about graduating students from high school,” Green said. “High school should not be the end of their educational journey, but the beginning. We are trying to change the mindset of every young person in this county. Our goal is not to simply educate young people. Our goal is to make productive citizens, and the best way to become a productive citizen is to be gainfully employed.”

Midlands Technical College is a nonprofit, two-year public college serving Fairfield, Richland and Lexington counties. Approximately 14,000 students attend classes annually at MTC’s six campus sites.

“I’m excited about this program,” Taylor said. “Our county has great potential. But for us to reach our full potential, we have to invest in ourselves. Education is one of the surest ways to guarantee that our children will have access to good jobs and the opportunity for a better future. And an educated workforce will also be the best way to attract new employers to our community and create great jobs here in Fairfield County.”

More information on the program will be available at enrollment events at the MTC Fairfield campus today and on July 23 and Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Those unable to attend can contact Brandon Benjamin at benjaminb@midlandstech.edu or 803-822-3515.

“I’m very proud of our Fairfield partners for making this opportunity available to so many,” Rhames said. “The Promise Program is just the starting point for these students. Now MTC will assist them in planning a future that helps them complete college, become highly skilled, and put those skills to work making a better life for themselves, their families, and the communities across Fairfield County.”

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