Using designated money from yearly broadband lease funds, Botetourt Education Foundation and donations from area business and residents may be a way 25 students can attend Virginia Western Community College for free tuition. School Superintendent Dr. Tony Brads introduced the Community College Access Program already used in the City of Salem, Franklin and Roanoke City that send some students tuition free from those three School Divisions.
Noting that many Botetourt people who work outside of the county have been asked to make donations for CCAP without Botetourt County benefit, it is an idea Brads said he has mulled for quite some time. “Basically it costs $6,00o per student per year to attend VWCC. We have spoken to VWCC. A student would have to exhibit financial need through FAFSA and Financial Aid in order to qualify.”
Currently many dual enrollment classes are either through VWCC or Dabney S Lancaster. At this time it is only VWCC where the program is offered.
The idea was met with enthusiasm by all five school board members: Ruth Wallace, Kathy Sullivan, Michael Beahm, Scott Swortzel and John Alderson. Alderson commented, ” This program should be aggressively pursued.”
Clearwire leases broadband service channels the school division owns for $12,000 per year. That money would be set aside for the proposed CCAP fund. The school division is going to approach the Botetourt Education Foundation as well. Approximate cost of $50,000 would be needed per year to fund 25 students.
The school board voted unanimously to have Brads continue to pursue the program.