COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – A proposed scholarship could help some technical college students cover their entire tuition.
A bill in the state Senate would create the South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship, also called SC WINS. It would give even more money to lottery scholarship students in particular programs.
It’s a way state lawmakers are trying to address two issues: Finding qualified employees for certain jobs and helping students pay for college.
“I anticipate this being, as they say, a win-win,” said Dr. Marilyn Fore, president of Horry-Georgetown Technical College. “A win for the students and a win for the industry.”
SC WINS would give up to $2,500 in additional money to technical college students who receive a lottery scholarship. Those students must be enrolled in “critical workforce area” programs, which are defined by the South Carolina Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education.
At HGTC, those include 16 healthcare programs, along with programs in hospitality, tourism, information technology and advanced manufacturing.
“This is a way for a student to have of all of their tuition paid for at a technical college,” said Dr. Fore. “Of course, we want them to come to Horry-Georgetown Tech.”
HGTC estimates about half of its students receive a lottery scholarship. High school students in a critical workforce area program at HGTC would also be eligible for SC WINS.
Students could also receive a $300 allowance for books under SC WINS.
“This is going to allow the students to do this, even if the program is a one-year program or a two-year, associate degree program,” Dr. Fore said.
Dr. Fore says she believes SC WINS would help Grand Strand employers and boost HGTC’s enrollment.
“(Students) can come here,” she said. “It’s affordable for them. We’re right here in the local area. The jobs are here for them.”
The SC WINS bill passed unanimously in the state House of Representatives last month and is now in the Senate’s education committee.