Making a Future for Laurens County
The Laurens County Future Scholarship Continues Impacting Local Students
LAURENS – Thanks to the continued support of the Laurens County Future Scholarship (LCFS) program, the Fall 2018 semester at Piedmont Technical College and the University of South Carolina, Union were fully funded for approved applicants.
In August 2017, a newly formed LCFS Steering Committee began work for the sustainability of the program for Laurens County students. In August 2018, the committee became an official Board of Directors with the approval of the Laurens County Future Scholarship 501c3 status.
“We look forward to the continuation of the Future Scholarship for Laurens County. This program offers a great opportunity to our residents, while supporting our local education systems and workforce. We are proud to be a part of these efforts,” says Amanda Munyan, President/CEO, Laurens County Chamber of Commerce.
The privately-funded LCFS program was established in the Fall of 2015, to provide recent high school graduates with a tuition-free path to complete two years of technical training, or the first half of a bachelor's degree.
Modeled on successful programs from around the United States, the Laurens County Future Scholarship is a last-pay scholarship, covering only the remainder of tuition and required fees after all State and Federal financial aid is applied.
With the news of the Palmetto Promise Program recently announced, questions have been asked about the need for the LCFS.
“Although the Palmetto Promise Program is exciting news for the students from School Districts 55 & 56, in Laurens County, this program will not replace the LCFS’s need to blanket the entire County. We have Laurens County students attending Ware Shoals and Hillcrest that need to be considered. Not to mention, the Palmetto Promise Program may not be an annual opportunity,” according to Jim Coleman, LCFS Board Chair.
All students must apply for any available financial aid prior to receiving a scholarship from the LCFS, most students do not require full funding to attend college, and many require no funding. However, this program encourages students to apply that may otherwise feel a college education is not obtainable due to financial restraints.
This investment has had an immediate impact on the County's rate of college attendance. Some notable successes include:
-- More than a 50 percent increase in the number of graduating seniors attending from Laurens County in Fall 2015, and a sustained increase in college participation at PTC in every subsequent year since the beginning of the program.
-- Major selection has mirrored the needs of the County, with approximately 50 percent concentrated in Industrial and Healthcare programs.
-- An average GPA of 2.7, with an average of 31 credit hours earned.
-- More than 150 students assisted to date.
In order to continue this important work, the LCFS needs support from organizations, and from generous individuals. Help us continue to grow Laurens County through investing in our most valuable resource -- our county's young people, and our collective future.
“The Development Corporation and Chamber continue to partner through various outlets in Laurens County on Workforce Development, enhancing the County’s economic stability and prosperity by focusing on people and their successful future.” said Jonathan Coleman, Executive Director, Laurens County Development Corporation.