West Virginia Accepting Applications for Free Community College
State hopes to introduce more educated workers into the economy.
West Virginia residents can now apply to attend the state's community and technical colleges with free tuition.
Last month, Republican Gov. Jim Justice signed the bill authorizing tuition grants to residents who are at least 18-years-old and have completed a secondary program. Students will also need to enroll in at least six credit hours per semester, maintain a 2.0 grade point average, perform at least hours of community service, and pass a drug test.
The bill is an attempt to increase the number of educated workers in the state's economy through the West Virginia Invests Grant Program . The grants are limited to courses of study that "satisfy a workforce need as determined by the Department of Commerce," and need to be repaid if the recipient moves out of West Virginia within two years of graduating.
According to the state's Community & Technical College System, approximately 75 percent of jobs in the current economy require postsecondary education, and "this grant program is designed to help more West Virginians earn the credentials they need to get jobs that will allow them to live and work right here at home."
At least 17 other states offer similar programs for community and technical colleges.