Alcorn County seniors will have tuition guarantee

CORINTH – Alcorn County is expected to become the ninth Northeast Mississippi county to participate in a program that assures high school graduates can attend community college tuition-free.
Supervisors approved $100,000 in the proposed fiscal year 2010 budget to fund the endowment for Alcorn County students to attend Northeast Mississippi Community College. They expect to adopt the budget following a 10 a.m. budget hearing on Tuesday.
So far, Monroe County, the city of Corinth, Calhoun, Clay, Itawamba, Lee, Pontotoc, Tippah and Union counties have agreed to participate in the program that supplements any financial aid students receive through other sources such as Pell grants and scholarships. Members of Alcorn County’s 2010 graduating classes will be eligible to participate in the program.
The Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District – which serves Alcorn, Benton, Marshall, Prentiss, Tippah and Tishomingo counties – manages the program and contributes a $25,000 match for its counties that participate.
In September 2007, the Gilmore Foundation joined the CREATE Foundation in a tuition guarantee for Monroe County students, with the Pierce Foundation following in April 2008 in guaranteeing tuition for Corinth High School graduates. By the fall of 2008, six other counties had made similar announcements.
In launching its tuition guarantee program, CREATE Foundation promised $20,000 to each of three community colleges – Itawamba Community College, Northeast and East Mississippi – to be matched by money from a sponsoring financial partner in each college’s district.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal