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HCC Scholarship Gives More Houstonians Opportunities

Houston Community College has come up with a program that provides virtually free college educations for low income young people who think college is beyond their means. Jim Bell reports.



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It’s called “Opportunity 14“, because 12 years of school plus two years of college equals 14. 

Houston Community College Foundation President Ginger Blanton says the goal is to make college and/or high tech job training possible for more people. It’s aimed at people who don’t qualify for most college assistance programs, but if they qualify for a Pell Grant, Opportunity 14 will pay all other costs up to six thousand dollars over three years. Blanton says even two years of college can make a world of difference in peoples’ lives.

“Research has shown that they can earn an additional 500 thousand dollars over their lifetime. And goodness knows Houston with its booming economy now, but we need to make sure that we have a skilled workforce, and that includes technical training.  The payback for this investment of time is huge.”

Blanton says to qualify, students must have a recent high school diploma or a GED, and live inside the Houston Community College District for at least one year.  Remedial classes may also be available.  

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.