Maryland Approves Free Community College

WYE MILLS, Md. – Gov. Larry Hogan has approved a law for free education at all 16 Maryland community colleges. The law will go into effect in the next academic year and is expected to cost the state around $15 million.

It’s exciting for first year radiology student, Georgi Hill. Hill is one of thousands of Chesapeake College students who will be eligible for free tuition next year following a few conditions.

According to the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, the law will cover each student’s tuition up to $5,000 after scholarships and grants are applied. Students must take at least 12-credits per semester and maintain a 2.5 GPA. Students must also have graduated high school or have a GED within two years before enrolling. The law also requires graduates to stay in the Maryland workforce for every year enrolled in the program.

“Somebody who could cover that would be awesome,” Hill said.

It’s still a good deal for Hill who must work to pay for part of her tuition.

Chesapeake College Interim President Stuart Bounds says it’s meant to help students and the state’s economy.

“We are very excited about this,” Stuart said. “We want to make sure that students stay in this area, if that’s possible and help develop the workforce here to support the local economy and help improve the lives of all of the people here in the region.”

According to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, 69 percent of Maryland jobs will require post-secondary education by the year 2020.

Bounds says the new law will ensure that goal.

“I’m sure anyone else who has tuition leftover to pay would appreciate it,” Hill said.

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Millie Holmes

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