HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Tidewater Community College announced their plan to offer tuition-free education to low- and middle-income students through Gov. Ralph Northam’s “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back” initiative.
Also known as the “G3” program, the $36 million piece of legislation will cover tuition, fees and books and provides wraparound support for eligible students at the Commonwealth’s two-year public institutions.
The “G3” program connects students with training and resources so they can secure jobs in high-demand fields and support their families without incurring high levels of student loan debt.
“G3” program areas include health care, information technology and computer science, manufacturing and skilled trades, public safety, and early childhood education.
TCC alumna Marcus Moody teaches welding on the Portsmouth Campus, which is home to the area’s largest welding lab. He came to TCC in 2012 to retrain for a new career after being laid off from a job in the banking industry. “A program like this would have been helpful to me. I would not have been able to improve myself and learn a new skill without the financial aid and the lower tuition rates at TCC,” Moody said.
“I encourage anyone to take advantage of the opportunities at TCC, including the skilled trades,” says TCC welding teacher Marcus Moody. “I talk with my students about the options for welders, from working at the shipyard to owning your own business. Once you learn the skill, it’s yours for life.”
The “G3” program claims to be one of the first in the nation to provide wraparound financial assistance to help students at the lowest income levels with expenses such as food, transportation and childcare.
The school says students who qualify for a full federal Pell grant and enroll full-time will receive student support incentive grants on a semester basis. These grants will be in an amount up to $900 per semester and up to $450 per summer term.
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