Barstow College Promise program now open to all graduating seniors
Thanks to a $750,000 state grant, the Barstow College Promise program is now available to all 2017 high school graduates from Barstow, Baker and Silver Valley Unified School Districts who will attend Barstow College in the fall, school officials announced Friday.
Initially, a pilot program had been funded to aid 100 graduating seniors from the local school districts. It was designed to ensure those students would not have to pay for tuition for their first year at Barstow Community College. If these students failed to qualify for enough federal or state financial aid to cover the cost of tuition, the “promise” was designed to pay the difference.
BCC has been able to expand the pilot program, however, thanks to donations from local contributors and grants it has received.
The Barstow College Promise now is fully funded for the first two years, so any graduating senior from Barstow Unified, Silver Valley Unified or the Baker school district can attend BCC with no tuition costs. As BCC tuition normally is $46 per unit, this benefit is worth about $1,400 per year to students who attend full time and take 15 units per semester.
“We started with our local schools and community leaders,” BCC Superintendent/President Dr. Deborah DiThomas said. “We put together a plan, and then we asked for contributions from local businesses, organizations and individuals. Then we applied for grants.”
The first grant awarded to BCC was for $19,000 from the California College Futures Foundation.
“That got the ball rolling,” DiThomas said. “Then we were able to apply for a larger grant from the State Chancelor’s Office, and we were awarded $750,000 to continue building the program and help pay for the first two years of the promise.”
“All of the seniors at our local high schools are now eligible for free tuition at BCC,” said Dr. Khushnur Dadabhoy, vice president of student services at BCC. “The application steps are all mapped out, and most of the seniors are already engaged in the process.”
High school counselors and BCC advisors already are helping many seniors. Those who haven’t done so yet who wish to take advantage of the College Promise program should do the following:
Step 1：To get started, seniors should visit http://www.barstow.edu/getting_started.html and complete the Admissions Application, and the Online Orientation
Step 2：Visit the Computer Commons at Barstow College （located in the Learning Resource Center）and complete the Assessment test.
Step 3：Meet with a Barstow College Counselor to develop an Education Plan.
Step 4：Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid（FAFSA）at http://www.fafsa.gov and include the Barstow Colelge school code：001119
Step 5：Complete the Barstow College Promise Application at http://www.barstow.edu/promise
All seniors graduating in 2017 from Barstow, Baker and Silver Valley Unified School Districts are eligible for the program. There is no minimum grade-point average（GPA）required.
Students in the program must be enrolled in at least 12 units per semester, and maintain a 2.0 GPA to stay eligible for the program during the second semester. Participating students can enroll in either Career and Technical Education courses or Associate Degree programs, or both.
To learn more about the Barstow College Promise, call 760-252-6793 to speak with a Student Success Advisor. To visit the BCC website, go to：www.barstow.edu