Taking college courses while in high school will become even more attractive for Palm Beach County’s top-performing students.
Palm Beach State College has established a new scholarship that will allow high school dual-enrollment students who complete 30 college credits with a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average to finish their associate’s degree for free. To be eligible, students must complete the credits at PBSC by the end of their senior year of high school and continue their PBSC education in the fall term immediately following high school graduation.
“Students who have 30 credit hours are more likely to complete the degree, and Palm Beach State wants to invest in those students,’’ said Robin Johnson-Blake, director of recruitment and dual enrollment. “This is a worthwhile investment.”
Currently, about 1,600 high school students take dual-enrollment classes at PBSC each semester. Dual enrollment is open to Palm Beach County public, charter, home education and approved private school students in grades 10 through 12 with a 3.0 grade point average and college-ready test scores on the PERT, SAT, ACT or Accuplacer.
Dual-enrollment courses and books are free to students who attend a Palm Beach County public high school. Although some dual-enrollment students complete the 60 college credits required for an associate’s degree while they are in high school, most do not. About 30 percent of PBSC’s dual-enrollment students continue their education at PBSC. College leaders are hoping this new scholarship will encourage more dual-enrollment students to continue their education at PBSC and help those who are on a good path to completing the degree. The Finish4Free Scholarship pays up to $3,000 per year for tuition and fees.
PBSC may be the first in the Florida College System to offer such a scholarship. “To my knowledge, this is a unique scholarship opportunity,’’ Johnson-Blake said. “I’m thrilled that we partnered with the financial aid department to create this opportunity for students.”
The Finish4Free Scholarship is among several new scholarships that PBSC has created in the last few years to attract the county’s top students and create opportunities for students who need help funding their education. To view a complete list of scholarships offered by the college, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/financialaid/scholarships.