October 23, 2023 by: Suzanne Seldes
FORT PIERCE, FL— A unanimous vote by the IRSC Foundation Board to renew the IRSC Promise program means students graduating in 2024 from in-district public and public charter high schools and eligible in-district homeschool graduates can earn tuition-free Associate degrees from Indian River State College.
Approved for a third year, the IRSC Program has correlated to a dramatic increase in college-going among local high school graduates with greater numbers of Hispanic, first-generation and male students entering the College—impressive statistics that far exceed or buck national trends.
“Over the past two years, more than 4,300 first-time-in-college students entered Indian River State College through the IRSC Promise program,” shares Vice President for Student Success Elizabeth Gaskin. “The program is a game-changer for so many families in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie communities, and we are grateful for the leadership, support and vision of the IRSC Foundation Board in moving Promise forward for another year.”
Credited chiefly to the success of the IRSC Promise program, overall enrollment for Indian River State College continues to climb. Last year, when the College introduced its first Promise cohort, Indian River State College welcomed the largest first-year class in its more than 60-year history; overall enrollment increased by nearly +9%. This fall, the College has more first-time-in-college students than ever, and enrollment continues to accelerate, to date an increase of +6% over last fall.
The IRSC Promise program is not a grant or scholarship. It is a tuition-paid program sponsored by the IRSC Foundation and funded through generous donor philanthropy and unrestricted investment proceeds.
“Since its inception in 2022, the Indian River State College Promise Program has proven to be one of the most successful investments the IRSC Foundation has made to quickly and dramatically remove barriers to higher education,” said IRSC Foundation Board Chair Bill Marine. “We are proud to support a new year of funding to help provide tuition-free Associate degrees for a new generation of high school graduates.”
Eligible students can pledge the IRSC Promise at promise.irsc.edu beginning January 24, 2024. The pledge deadline is May 24, 2024.
About Indian River State College
A leader in education and innovation, Indian River State College transforms lives by offering high-quality, affordable and accessible education to the residents of Florida’s Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties through traditional and online delivery. IRSC is a recipient of the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The College serves nearly 22,000 students annually and offers more than 100 programs leading to Bachelor’s degrees, Associate degrees, technical certificates and applied technology diplomas. Learn more at https://www.irsc.edu/.