For an adult thinking about retraining in STEM or culinary arts, it is possible to get a degree virtually free at Nashville State Community College, thanks to a special scholarship program.
The NSCC Foundation Adult Scholarship program will cover the cost of the first six hours per semester up-front, and reimburse up to the next six hours for any adult age 25 or older seeking to pursue a degree in science, engineering, math, technology or culinary arts.
“The Foundation scholarship is a last-dollar program, meaning that it pays after any other financial aid, scholarships or tuitions discounts have been applied,” said Dr. George Van Allen, President of NSCC. “But it is certainly possible for an adult student to earn their associate degree with virtually no cost to them.”
Currently, the Foundation has about $500,000 in available scholarship money to give out, says Van Allen.
Basic criteria for the scholarship are straightforward:
• Must be 25 or older
• Must be an in-state student
• Must be income eligible
• Must maintain an overall 2.75 GPA
• May attend full or part time, but pass a minimum of six hours each semester
• Applies to fall and spring semesters only
Graduates of the STEM or culinary programs could expect very bright job prospects, says Foundation board member Bryan Huddleston, president and CEO of the Nashville Technology Council.
“I have NTC members and other tech businesses coming to me every day looking for local information technology talent,” said Huddleston. “This scholarship is an ideal opportunity for someone who is currently looking to upgrade their skills while maintaining a job, and to basically upgrade those skills free.”
Fellow board member and Nashville restaurateur Randy Rayburn agrees.
“We have new hotels with restaurants coming online almost every week,” he said. “And we have restaurants opening up constantly. All these openings mean opportunities for people with the skills to take advantage of them.”
For adults who may wish to go on to a bachelor’s degree, NSCC provides a transfer path that allows a student to move seamlessly to a bachelor’s program at most Tennessee four-year educational institutions.
“I think we have a done a pretty good job taking care of high school graduates looking to continue their educations at low cost,” said Van Allen. “The beauty of this scholarship program is that it targets working adults who are looking to upgrade their skills or even retrain in a community college setting on their own schedule.”
For more information about the adult scholarship, go to www.nscc.edu/scholarships.