Today, at a special assembly for 12th-grade students at Sebastian River High School, Indian River State College (IRSC) announced details for IRSC Promise 2023—adding in-district homeschool graduates to those who qualify for tuition-free Associate degrees.
“Thanks to the generosity and support of our IRSC Foundation, we will build on the success of our inaugural year of the Promise Program and open the aperture a little wider for the next IRSC Promise cohort,” said IRSC President Dr. Timothy Moore. “Promise 2023 reaches beyond public and public charter school graduates to offer eligible homeschool graduates in our service district an opportunity to earn an A.A., A.S. or A.A.S. degree from IRSC tuition-free.”
The IRSC Promise Program launched in March 2022 for in-district public and public charter high school graduates. While college enrollment continues to fall nationally, the IRSC Promise led to a dramatic increase in enrollment locally. With more than 3,200 students, IRSC’s fall 2022 first-time-in-college cohort is the largest in the College’s history. More than 1 in 3 local high school graduates enrolled at IRSC through the Promise Program.
And after only one year, the IRSC Promise is already making good on its commitment to making college education broadly accessible.
“The impact (of Promise) on underrepresented groups such as minority, first-generation and low-income populations is stunning,” underscores Michael Hageloh, IRSC Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. “The Promise Program is the ultimate investment in our community and workforce–from technicians to nurses.”
First-time-in-college student data demonstrate the program’s broad reach:
· Minority students are 80% of the Promise 2022 cohort.
· Enrollment for first-year Hispanic students has doubled from last fall.
· First-generation students make up the majority of first-year students.
· Pell-grant eligibility is the highest in years, increasing 48% year over year.
· The gap between female and male first-year student enrollment is narrowing.
The IRSC Promise program is not a grant or scholarship. It is a tuition-paid program sponsored by the IRSC Foundation and funded through generous donor philanthropy and unrestricted investment proceeds.
IRSC Promise students do not need to demonstrate financial need, and there is no GPA requirement for acceptance to the program. Once in the program, students must maintain full-time enrollment status during fall, spring and summer terms and maintain satisfactory academic progress as they pursue an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Applied Associate in Science Degree.
To take advantage of the program, eligible high school seniors must commit to IRSC by taking the Promise Pledge, available at promise.irsc.edu, by March 10, 2023.