With Kentucky high school students preparing for college every year, they must face the fact that the average community college price for an undergraduate degree is around $64,492 with the student living on campus, and $60,856 with the student living off campus, according to CollegeTuitionCompare.com. In early December, Georgetown College made a large announcement to the seniors of Scott County who have been offered an opportunity of a lifetime to them and the next 9 senior classes following.
This opportunity comes in the form of a scholarship that covers full tuition. Students are still expected to meet the entrance requirements, be in good standing with their current school, be a first time freshmen, and attend a Scott County school or reside in Scott County for all of their senior year. Other scholarships granted outside the school can help in the coverage of the remaining cost of room, board, and other fees. This does not allow other merit based scholarships to stack on to this, for it is considered a merit based scholarship, but does allow KHEES money, FAFSA, and other federal and state aid to accompany it.
The alumni of Georgetown College and donors are those to thank for this gift. Sponsoring the “Legacy and Legends” scholarship for Scott County seniors, the only expense students have to pick up are the room and board, books, and meal plan for the four years they are expected to reside on campus. Based on the 2017-2018 school year, the average student spent $11,676 for room and board and books. Taking this into account, an undergraduate degree at Georgetown now only costs Scott County students around $46,704. To better understand the magnitude of this, the average cost for an undergraduate degree living on campus cost studented around $195,344 and $170,344 living off campus based on CollegeCalc.Org. This information was also calculated based upon the 2017-2018 school year’s sticker prices of Georgetown College.
The legends and legacy scholarship has been offered to the following counties; Scott, Owens, Franklin, and Casey. The same rules for enrollment apply to these students from these counties.
After the announcement was made, it didn’t take long for the news to spread. Parents flocked to social media sites exclaiming how they can finally afford to send their kid to college, and students buzzed about applying. There were handfuls of parents talking about moving into Scott County just for this scholarship, as well as those speaking about how disappointed they were that their kid was a year off from being eligible. Chloe Jarrell, a senior at Great Crossing took a step that she didn’t believe she could before. “To me, the scholarship was a chance at me getting a higher education that I thought I’d never have. I didn’t think I was going to college at all because of money situations,” she said.
Georgetown College shows just how different they are, with many of their tour guides discussing unique benefits such as, “class sizes ranging from 1 to 35 students, a close relationship with your peers and professors, [and additionally] an atmosphere expected to be seen at any liberal arts colleges.” The college also boasts programs which allow students to become more well rounded people through encouraged opportunities such as community involvement, plays, art galleries, and more.
Kelsey Berry, a graphic designer at Georgetown College, explained the relationships created- “I know professors that invite students over for Thanksgiving or even Christmas morning. The students who can’t afford to travel way back to California or even if their foriegn students. I just think that it’s amazing that in these small classrooms you’re getting excellent education. But you can argue that you can get a good education at several colleges. But I don’t know many were there like, ‘Hey we have plenty of room at our table, come over for Thanksgiving!’ or ‘Come over for these intimate family moments, you’re part of the family,’. I just don’t think you can get that other places, it’s really awesome.”
During a college visit day, Johnathan Sands Wise, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Associate Professor of Philosophy, explained to Scott County students visiting Georgetown that, “It’s like you’ve had this tiny pearl at your feet, and you’ve been looking all around for an opportunity, while looking over the pearl.” There isn’t much of a doubt that the new scholarship will open up so many opportunities for the students in each of the offered counties that will change the course of their lives.
“I did hear one girl have a look of realization that this was a big deal, and she kind of put her hand to her chest and said, ‘I get to go to college,’” Berry testified. “It was just a big deal. Scholarships only do so much, as kids are finding out as seniors apply, and even as the juniors are looking into stuff. There’s still a gap, and we don’t know how we are gonna fill this gap- is that going to be with loans that we have to face later? Is that going to be with extra hours, or picking up a second job? And that weight has been lifted for so many parents, for so many students. So hopefully now, they can go to school without that burden.”