PHILADELPHIA, August 28, 2014—Community College of Philadelphia has launched a new initiative designed to cut student debt loads, increase affordability and reduce the length of time it takes students to graduate.
Complete With 15, a new tuition assistance program launched this fall, is offering a scholarship to eligible students who were enrolled in at least nine and no more than 14 credits the previous semester. The scholarship will cover the cost of one additional three-credit course and fees, a value of $555 a semester. To qualify, students must be city residents and must already have at least 24 college credits. Associate degree programs at the College typically require a student to earn between 60 and 62 academic credits to earn a degree.
Dr. Samuel Hirsch, vice president for Student Affairs, explained, “The Complete With 15 initiative will provide students with the opportunity to accelerate their progression to degree completion while saving money and time.”
The new initiative is part of an ongoing commitment to student completion and success. The College will hold tuition flat this fall, retaining the current rate of $153 per credit hour. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation raised nearly $8.5 million in private and public funds for programs and scholarships. Last year, the College partnered with Single Stop USA, which helped connect more than 1,000 students to state and federal benefits and services. Participants who received help with taxes netted more than $1 million in refunds.
Mai Nguyen, a 2013 graduate of Constitution High School in Old City, was among the first students to apply for the new scholarship. This fall, she will carry a 15-credit course load instead of 12, which will position her to graduate within two years. “I realized that if I were to take 12 credits, by the time I graduate it would be two-and-a-half or three years. But with the scholarship, I can squeeze in all the credits I need to graduate on time,” said Nguyen who wishes to pursue a career in pediatric nursing. “I think that it’s speeding up the process of me graduating and getting an associate’s.”
Complete With 15 scholarship recipients, receive one-on-one academic advising in which an advisor maps out an education plan. Each student signs a Term of Agreement promising to follow the prescribed plan. To remain eligible for scholarship renewal, students must maintain good academic standing, have no withdrawals or course failures, meet all financial obligations, and have no enrollment changes to the course sequence or declared major and degree. Other eligibility requirements apply. More information on the program is available here.
Nguyen said that the one-on-one advising was a great benefit. She feels good knowing she has a set education plan and a clear path to her associate’s degree. She’s already considering where she’ll enroll for her bachelor’s degree and is even thinking of graduate school. “This scholarship was a really good thing,” she said.
Community College of Philadelphia is the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia and the sixth largest in Pennsylvania. The College enrolls approximately 34,000 students annually and offers day, evening and weekend classes, as well as classes online. Visit the College at www.ccp.edu. Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.