Application due dates for Educate and Grow scholarships coming up

Rick Wagner • Mar 13, 2009 at 12:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Applications for a scholarship that may pay a full two years of tuition at a local community college are available.

Applications for the Sullivan County Educate and Grow scholarship program at Northeast State Technical Community College are available online for high school seniors graduating this spring and living in Sullivan County.

Eligible students can obtain applications at www.educateandgrow.com. Home-schooled high school seniors living in Sullivan County are also eligible to apply for Educate and Grow. The priority deadline to submit an application is March 31.

An Educate and Grow scholarship applicant must be a member of the 2009 graduating class and have a custodial parent or court-appointed legal guardian who has lived within Sullivan County for 12 months prior to the applicant’s high school graduation date. An applicant must enroll at Northeast State as a degree-seeking student for the upcoming fall 2009 semester and meet all scholarship requirements.

In addition, students must meet and maintain academic requirements to receive and continue receiving the scholarship, as well as maintain a set level of credit hour enrollments.

Educate and Grow has grown to provide tuition assistance for qualifying students graduating from high schools in Carter, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties.

The deadline for priority applications from Carter and Unicoi counties is also March 31, while the priority deadline for Washington and Johnson counties is April 30.

“Most of the time I think the word is out there,” said Erin Blevins, who oversees the program for Northeast State.

Blevins said in the past, the school got lists of all graduating seniors and mailed applications.

This year, since the program has a Web site where an application can be printed, the mailings direct students to the Web site.

The program began in 2001 as an agreement between Northeast State and the governments of Kingsport and Sullivan County. Northeast State has since partnered with private companies and individual donors to expand the program throughout the college’s designated five-county service area.

Students who live in the Hawkins County portion of Kingsport also are eligible for the scholarships, with those funds coming from a designated funding pool from the city.

Although eligible students in the past have received full tuition assistance through Educate and Grow and other scholarships, the award amounts each year depend on the number of students participating in the program and the availability of funds.

As part of the process, students apply for all available aid, including the Tennessee Hope scholarship, and Educate and Grow makes up the difference between what those award and the cost of tuition.

In the fall of 2008, 140 of 215 eligible applicants received Educate and Grow funds, Blevins said. She said the ones who didn’t receive Educate and Grow but were eligible got funding from other sources, including the lottery and federal Pell grants.

Applications for the Educate and Grow scholarship program are also available at the student guidance offices of any high school in Sullivan County, the Northeast State campus in Blountville, and the Regional Center for Applied Technology, 222 W. Main St. in downtown Kingsport.

Completed applications must be submitted in person at the Blountville campus, Pierce Building, Office P311, 2425 Highway 75, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

For more information, contact Blevins at the Northeast State Office for Institutional Advancement at 354-2507 or send e-mail to ecblevins@NortheastState.edu.

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