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GMC aids students with scholarship opportunity

January 4, 2011 GMC aids students with scholarship opportunity Vaishali Patel The Union-Recorder MILLEDGEVILLE — As Georgia Military College gears up for the new year with orientation and registration Thursday, newly enrolled freshmen and commuter students will not have to empty their wallets this winter quarter as GMC continues to provide one course free of tuition. GMC Vice President of Enrollment Services Donna Findley said students interested in taking advantage of the scholarship program have to first qualify for admissions and must be a new freshman or transfer commuter student. “Any new applicant for the term who has never attended GMC will automatically qualify for the application,” she said. Findley said the concept of offering a free class kicked off in summer 2009 when the college realized how key industries in the Milledgeville-Baldwin County community were closing. “People were beginning to face situations in their lives where they needed to retrain or regroup and prepare themselves for a different career. With industries closing, we knew that families would be facing financial difficulties and we came up with the idea to offer a free class as an enticement for those who had been out of school for a period of time,” she said. “So we began promoting this to the community to get some of the individuals who were affected by job losses to entice them back into an educational setting here at GMC.” Compared to the 74 freshman and transfer commuter students who took advantage of the scholarship program in the 2010 winter term, Findley said she already expects the number of applications to increase this quarter. “In spring 2010, 54 students received the scholarship; in summer 2010, 79 students received the scholarship; and in the fall 2010 term, 267 students received the scholarship,” she said. “This clearly shows that the scholarship has been tremendous value. What I’m seeing from my research today is that retention of these students has been pretty good.” New students should check-in at 8 a.m. Thursday in the New Academic Building to receive advisement materials before orientation starts at 9 a.m. Returning students will report to their advisers beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. “If they are a new student, then I encourage them to call us as quickly as possible in the admissions office to make sure their files are complete and in order,” Findley said. “Classes and drop/add begin Monday. Drop/add ends Wednesday. Those who miss registration on Thursday can come in Monday when drop/add opens.” The scholarship is solely funded by GMC. Eligible students are allowed to choose the individual course that is most beneficial to them financially. “One course can be worth up to $807 for one student,” she said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for someone wanting to get back into school and perhaps a little anxious about getting started back. This lets them test the waters with us.” GMC is also ready to host another Admissions Day Bash Thursday, March 3, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Office of Admissions for interested students to tour the campus, ask questions, drop off their applications and celebrate GMC’s ranking as the 12th best community college in the country by Washington Monthly magazine. “We had a great turnout during our October Admissions Day Bash for the fall 2010 quarter. Z97.7 held a live remote, Chik-fil-A was there giving out sandwiches and students had the $35 application fee waived if they submitted their application that day. We were very pleased with it, and we would love to extend that out to others now that we’re into the first of the year,” she said. “I think it’s indicative of our goal to give students the experience they need to be successful.” For more information about the free tuition opportunity, call (478) 387-4953. To register for classes, call (478) 387-0356, or visit www.gmc.cc.ga.us for information about admission requirements, student activities, class schedules, athletic programs, financial aid and more.