At a press conference on March 2, FSCJ debuted the first program in the state to provide a debt-free pathway to college completion. FSCJ Promise is leading the College Promise initiative in Florida to provide more access and opportunity to eligible students in Duval and Nassau counties who might not be able to attend by their own means.
Starting this fall, FSCJ Promise will fully fund the first two years at FSCJ (tuition, fees and books) for eligible local students. The program plans to provide support for students through the creation of a college-going culture while increasing student persistence and degree completion for first-time-in-college students.
“FSCJ Promise promotes equity amongst our students, a core component of the College’s values, by eliminating the barrier of financial debt, ensuring that all of our community members have the chance to receive a quality education,” said FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. “Opening the door to education for those who might otherwise not receive it means providing opportunities that benefit not only the individual as they excel in their academic journey, but also the community in preparing a more talented, skilled and dedicated workforce. FSCJ Promise is one more piece of this mosaic for Jacksonville.”
According to the LeRoy Collins Institute, Florida is falling short of the national average on need-based aid appropriations. Nationally, the percent of higher education need-based grants is 48 percent; in Florida, that number is only 25 percent.
FSCJ is dedicated to creating strong public support in efforts to produce a college-going culture. The program will subsidize tuition and books toward the first two years of an associate degree. FSCJ Promise plans to serve up to 1,000 new students on an annual basis.
“We are fortunate to live in a city with valued partners like FSCJ that are committed to building a stronger Jacksonville community,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “This initiative supports and promotes a higher quality of life by providing a pathway and resource for first-time-in-college students aspiring to earn a college degree.”