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Students take advantage of free tuition offer

Taking advantage Students take advantage of free tuition offer Vaishali Patel The Union-Recorder Students have taken advantage of a GMC program offering eligible students one course free of tuition. Seventy-four new freshman and transfer commuter students, all local residents, enrolled at Georgia Military College when winter quarter began to take advantage of a less wallet-straining opportunity. GMC Vice President of Enrollment Services Donna Findley said the response has been strong since the scholarship was initiated in this quarter. “Our enrollment for the winter quarter on the Milledgeville campus is up about 6.42 percent in head count over the previous winter and 6.44 percent in credit hour production,” she said. A third of the total number of students under the scholarship were nontraditional, typically 24 years or older, according to Findley. “They have taken the opportunity to come back into the classroom. A couple of people this quarter were in their 50s. The point to be made is that it’s not too late to come back to the classroom,” she said. “This scholarship allows them to test the waters without incurring the expense. Those that have been away from the classroom can sit in and be successful.” With an average of 17 students per classroom, Findley said classes will not increase due to the rising number of students using scholarship assistance. “Classrooms only hold a certain number of desks. We have the opportunity to create additional classes based on demand. As we come into the upcoming fall quarter, it will give us a nice opportunity for growth,” she said. The scholarship is solely funded by GMC. Each quarter hour costs $105 but can be worth $525 for each student — more or less depending if the student is taking a full load of five classes. Findley said eligible students are allowed to choose the individual course that is most beneficial to them financially. “The student is free to choose which class the scholarship will cover. It can be a learning support program, political science or English 101,” she said. The 36 new freshman and 38 transfer commuter students who received the scholarship this quarter “were absolutely elated.” “I’ve talked to a couple of people who saw this as an opportunity to utilize their time after they’ve been laid off. Some of them took the action that they needed to take. They were very thrilled to receive a class for free,” Findley said. Before the April 7 spring quarter orientation date, GMC plans to host an Admissions Day Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Office of Admissions. Findley said students who submit applications for enrollment will have the $35 application fee waived. “We’re intending this to be an application day. It’s an opportunity for students to drop by and give their applications to us; see what classrooms will look like; take a campus tour; and an opportunity for us to be able to give students the view of the college, which can be important in making their decisions,” she said. “Now is the perfect time to apply for admission and financial aid before Feb. 20 and to go ahead and get the financial aid process started. Students can get financial aid resources beyond the scholarship. There’s a wealth of information that students have right at their fingertips.” For more information about Admissions Day, contact the Office of Admissions, located at 421 S. Jefferson St., at (478) 387-4846 or visit www.gmc.cc.ga.us.