Saturday, August 13, 2016

"Obtain free college tuition by “Saying Yes” to education"

Say Yes to Education is a nonprofit organization that offers free college for students graduating from public high schools in Guilford County.

“This last dollar tuition scholarship program provides financial support for Guilford County students, but only in the area of tuition,” guidance counselor Liz Lucas said.

...the Say Yes foundation will look over the financial aid that a student has gotten, and if there is a gap in the amount of financial aid received in regards to tuition, then Say Yes will cover the remainder.

...With a program that offers such great financial aid and opportunity, many people wonder how such an organization can function.

...“Say Yes is brand new to Guilford County, so when they give us a piece of information, we share that information,” Lucas said.

Alexis Rutledge, Staff Writer
February 23, 2016
...beginning in 2016, Guilford high school seniors will be able to take advantage of scholarships that bridge the gap between what they can pay and the actual cost of tuition at public universities statewide.
Friday, May 20, 2016; "Matherly, who will graduate June 3 from Northwest Guilford, is among 4,139 Guilford County Schools students who are “tentatively eligible” for last-dollar scholarships from Say Yes Guilford. They represent about 77 percent of Guilford seniors on track to graduate this year, including younger students who are graduating early, according to data the organization released Tuesday.

The students are considered tentatively eligible until they graduate from high school, said Mary Vigue, executive director of Say Yes Guilford. Graduation ceremonies for Guilford County Schools began Wednesday with the Early College at Guilford and the Middle College at UNC-Greensboro.

The class of 2016 is the first to qualify for last-dollar tuition scholarships from Say Yes Guilford.

The Say Yes scholarships will cover the tuition costs that remain after any other grants or scholarships. That means students still will have to pay for things such as fees, housing, books and meal plans.

It could be a couple of months before information is available on the scholarship amounts awarded to those students, Vigue said.

...The Say Yes scholarship is the biggest part of their financial aid by far, Lycia Phipps said.

...A year at N.C. State, including, housing, books, meals and other expenses, could cost more than $23,000. Tuition alone at other colleges and universities in the UNC system ranges from around $3,000 to more than $6,800 a year.

The Say Yes scholarships could help cut college costs almost in half, Burton Matherly said. Students could then graduate with less debt — something he predicted will prompt more students to complete a bachelor’s degree and earn more money over their lifetimes."

Contact Marquita Brown at (336) 373-7002, and follow @mbrownNR on Twitter.
New details about Say Yes Guilford include free flights for college visits

...Local families can save money on visits to certain colleges through Say Yes Guilford, the local chapter of Say Yes to Education.

Once a year, Guilford County high school students, along with a legal guardian, can get a free roundtrip ticket on Southwest Airlines to visit a college or university connected to Say Yes to Education, said Mary Vigue, executive director of Say Yes Guilford. The national organization has a partnership with the airline, she said.

...The Guilford County Schools class of 2016 will be the first eligible Say Yes scholarships. The organization offers last dollar tuition scholarships to North Carolina public colleges and universities. Those scholarships are meant to cover tuition costs that remain after other financial aid. The tuition scholarships do not cover other college fees and expenses.

Students will qualify for different percentages of the last dollar scholarships depending on how long they have been continuously enrolled in Guilford County Schools.

Grade entered and continuously enrolled % of last dollar tuition scholarship

sixth through 12th grade 100

 ninth through 12th grade 75

 10th-12th grade 50

 11th-12th grade 25

 12th grade 0

Some private colleges and universities have capped the number of students for whom they will waive tuition, Vigue said. Of the local schools, both High Point and Wake Forest universities will cap at five the number of students who will get free tuition, she said. Students who don’t get tuition waived would still qualify the smaller scholarships of up to $5,000.

The tuition scholarships are recurring for four semesters or years if attending a two-year school and eight semesters or five years for four-year schools. Students would have to complete a FAFSA every year, Vigue said.

Officials are still determining the process for charter schools to be added to Say Yes Guilford, Vigue said.

Contact Marquita Brown at (336) 373-7002, and follow @mbrownNR on Twitter.
Monday, June 29, 2015; "Out of more than 100 areas in the country, Guilford County is in the running to land a unique opportunity.

‘Say Yes to Education’ works with communities to provide secondary education to all students. Triad leaders know many kids graduating high school can't afford to go on to college.

"Typically there is about a $2,000 to $3,000 gap and that is what Say Yes sort of considers their ‘sweet spot’ and that is what we typically are able to give these kids,” said Paul Lessard, with High Point Community Foundation."