MASON CITY — The deadline is approaching to apply for a scholarship through a state-funded program to help connect north-central Iowans to training and education required for good paying jobs and careers to improve people’s lives.
The “Last Dollar Scholarship” as part of the “Future Ready Iowa” program focuses on increasing opportunities for more Iowans to acquire skills to fill high-demand jobs and meet workforce needs.
North Iowa Area Community College president Steve Schulz says it’s essentially free college for those who want to take advantage of the program. “You’re going to be able to go tuition and mandatory fee free regardless of your level of income. there’s some parameters around that, but it’s very specific to get 70% of Iowans with a post secondary credential by 2025, that’s the ultimate goal of the program. Locally, it’s available for any student who wants a post secondary credential up to an associate’s degree in some very specific programs.”
Schulz says more than 20 programs are eligible for the Future Ready Iowa program. He says those areas include nursing, medical assistant, physical therapy, agriculture, business, auto and diesel technology, information technology, building trades, HVAC, tool & die, management, and several other areas.”
Schulz says it’s easy to get signed up for the program. All folks really need to do is two things: one, call NIACC and get their application in; and then the second thing they need to do is fill out their FAFSA form, their federal aid form. Those two things need to be done by August 1st to qualify.”
Schulz says recent high school graduates as well as adult students are eligible for the program. “If you are a 2019 high school graduate, you must enroll immediately this fall after high school to qualify. So if you graduated in May, you’re eligible for these given the programs. The other group of folks that are eligible for adult learners age 20 and older. These folks may have not started or stopped out, and they can enroll full or part-time. So if you’re working and you know it’s just time for you to go in and finish that degree or pick up another credential, you can go part-time to take at least six credits.”
For more information, you can head to the website niacc.edu/lastdollar, or call the financial aid office at 641-422-4168.