HOUSTON - San Jacinto Community College is offering free tuition for up to three years to the high school class of 2021.
An anonymous donor has given the community college money to create '21 Forward,' providing free tuition to any senior in the San Jacinto taxing district graduating during the 2020-2021 school year.
"Me, myself, in my family, we are seven people," said Kelley Magana, a student at San Jacinto.
She is an example of how a scholarship can make a student's dreams come true.
"I'm the oldest child and I was worried about my parents having to pay for things. I was worried I wasn't going to be able to pay for college," Magana told us. Magana is in San Jacinto's Promise program.
Now San Jacinto is offering a new program called 21 Forward. It is a full-tuition scholarship to any high school senior graduating from six Independent School Districts in the San Jacinto taxing district: Channelview, Deer Park, Galena Park, LaPorte, Pasadena, and Sheldon ISD's. Homeschool, private school, and GED graduates in the district are also eligible.
"Whether they're on a career track and want a two-year Associate degree, so they can go into the work place at a better starting position, or whether they're on a transfer-track," said Dr. Allatia Harris, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives for San Jacinto Community College.
The scholarship covers up to three years of tuition for full or part time students, until the student earns an Associate degree or completes 60 hours. Students must enroll for Fall 2021 and apply for financial aid.
"If they have those dollars, they're applied first. If their financial aid doesn't cover the cost of tuition, that's where the donation comes in," explained Harris.
Harris says the donor is anonymous but wants to help students reach their goals.
"We track their progress. We want to see them move forward and achieve those goals and become contributing members of the economy," said Harris.
"Me personally, I'm not grossed out by blood or anything, so I want to become a surgeon," said Magana.
The cost of books is not included in the 21 Forward scholarship, but Harris says San Jacinto has other aid for books for students who qualify.
Some other local schools are offering free tuition, too.
The University of St. Thomas is offering free tuition for Fall 2021 only for students enrolled in their Associate of Applied Science programs and Houston Community College has its Eagle Promise Program. For qualifying students whose financial aid doesn't cover tuition for an eligible degree or certificate, the Eagle Promise scholarship will make up the difference up to $500 per semester.
For students attending other schools, Scholarships.com has an extensive list of available scholarships.