Salt Lake Community College will begin fulfilling a promise it made to its students that will help them on their path to graduation.
The college has recognized a rising number of dropouts and potential students who cannot afford to pay tuition. As a result, SLCC created the SLCC Promise — a new way to make college affordable for all full-time students.
According to a news release published in March, SLCC will pay the remaining balance of tuition and student fees “when federal grants for eligible students fall short, ensuring an education pathway for students who might otherwise veer away from completing a higher education.”
SLCC Promise fills a gap
Students across the country often turn to student loans that quickly become mountains of debt. And as overall student debt increases, the number of college dropouts also increase, as many try to avoid further financial trouble.
Research indicates that students who start their academic careers at community colleges are less likely to drop out and have a higher chance of earning a degree. The SLCC Promise provides further incentive for Utah residents to go to SLCC first.
Eric Weber, assistant vice president for Student Enrollment Services, describes the program as a free financial aid supplement.
“SLCC Promise is something that fills the gap that a grant doesn’t cover,” he says. “For full-time students [with 12 to 18 credit hours] tuition is $1844.50. If a grant only covers $1,000 of that, SLCC Promise will fill the gap and cover the other $844.50.”
Requirements must be met
Anyone who wants to take advantage of the SLCC Promise has to meet certain eligibility requirements.
A student must be a Utah resident and receive a Federal Pell Grant. The SLCC Promise is not a scholarship and is only designed to cover costs that a grant does not.
A student must also be a credit-hour student and take 12 to 18 credit hours per semester. If a student falls below 12 credit hours, they will no longer be eligible.
And finally, a student must meet with an academic advisor and set up a degree plan; having this degree plan will help the student have a guide to their graduation.
Complete the FAFSA
Students must complete the FAFSA each year in order to receive the SLCC Promise. They must also remain a full-time student, maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0, attempt less than 90 credit hours and complete 70% of all the courses they have attempted.
Once a student files for their FAFSA, and the Financial Aid Office processes their financial aid application, they are automatically considered for the SLCC Promise. There is no need for students to fill out a separate form.
The Financial Aid Office will let the student know if they qualify through their BruinMail account.
“This is a great opportunity for people,” Weber says. “Apply for your FAFSA. It’s that easy. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.”
SLCC Promise is available during the fall and spring semesters only.