Whitesburg KY

Program helps students finish college for free

Hundreds of eastern Kentuckians who left college just short of earning an associate degree will have the chance to complete their education at no cost with the help of “Finish Up For Free,” an initiative of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP).

“What we’re offering with Finish Up For Free is an opportunity,” said EKCEP Executive Director Jeff Whitehead. “Those who are within 18 credit hours of finishing their degree can get financial assistance from Finish Up For Free to pay for tuition, books and fees. It can also provide assistance with other needs such as child care and transportation.”

Working in partnership with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), Finish Up for Free expects to help up to 750 people who need 18 credit hours or less to finish an associate degree. EKCEP’s Finish Up For Free is funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

The deadline to enroll in Finish Up For Free is July 31 and spaces are limited. Classes at the KCTCS schools will begin August 17. However, Finish Up For Free is not strictly limited to KCTCS schools. Students who were pursuing associate degrees at other institutions may also apply.

For more information, call toll-free 1-877-512-9675 or go to www.finishup.org.

Applicants will work with Finish Up For Free advisors to determine whether they are eligible. Applicants must be able to complete a written plan showing they can finish their degree by June 30, 2010, have not been enrolled in school since January 1, 2009, and left school with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.

KCTCS officials say they are happy to work with EKCEP to help former students return to school.

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