The state of Iowa wants to help train community college students for careers that are in high demand. Governor Kim Reynolds has just signed a funding bill for the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship program.
Erin Snyder, Director of Enrollment Management for the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, says the scholarships are available to students in more than 30 career and technical fields such as nursing, welding, and engineering. The money will pay whatever the student has not raised in scholarships and other financial aid.
"Really getting behind the idea that we need to have a trained workforce in the state of Iowa not only to keep our current employers, but also to bring in new employers to the state. So, you have to have a trained workforce to take the jobs that are in demand."
Snyder says the statewide program covers 30 majors, and each of Iowa's 15 community colleges can add programs for what they consider to be high demand jobs in their part of the state. The high demand jobs for this region include veterinary technician, medical assistant, business management, and auto and diesel technology.
These Last-Dollar Scholarships can reduce student loans.
"Because instead of having to take out a student loan to finish paying the balance of your tuition, this scholarship would pay that. I think that's one of the really exciting opportunities, because we know student loan debt can be a burden when people graduate."
Snyder estimates anywhere from 700 to 800 students at the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges could qualify for a Last-Dollar Scholarship.
They'll be available starting this fall.