Scholarship proposal headed to governor's desk

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT)  "It's going to catch a group of people out there that do not qualify for any type of aid and so consequently would alleviate some of the burden or cost of attending a 2 year institution," said Dr. Michael Sullens.

Sullens is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Black River Technical College in Pocahontas.

"It's relief in the form of $2,500 scholarships to those who qualify and choose to attend a two year school.  A measure approved by the Arkansas Legislature this week.

"It's going to be good for the students," said Sullens.

For two year school, Black River Technical College in Pocahontas, enrollment is on the rise.  Dr. Sullens says potential for more growth is there.

"Some people come back already having a four year degree, but wanting now to get into the technical field, or pick up an Associate of Applied Science to make them employable in a different area," said Sullens.

Sullens says this would be a prime opportunity to take advantage of furthering one's education. Anticipating that, they're already planning.

"We're getting to a point that we are going to have to look at some alternative methods as far as offering classes," said Sullens.

"Graduating high school seniors as well as non traditional students--adults who want to go back to college at night, will be eligible for these scholarships," said Lieutenant Governor, Bill Halter.

Scholarships that Halter says will allow people to go to school and begin a path to success.

"It's also the key to higher economic growth and better living standards for all Arkansans," said Halter.

At BRTC, Dr. Sullens says he's anticipating what he calls "a nice growth" for the fall.  He says he can't fully attribute that to the scholarships, rather people are becoming more aware they need an education.  He says now people may be enrolling, because of the possibility of an added  financial incentive.

"I hope that those out there will take advantage of this scholarship that cannot get other types of assistance and realize that they can come on aboard," said Sullens.

Sullens says $2,500 won't cover the full tuition factor if students are going full time; however, he does say for those going part time, and combined with other financial assistance for full or part time students, this money will help ease the burden when it comes to  transportation, housing or even child care.

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