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SCC Announces Free Tuition for 2021-2022

May 20, 2021 by Samantha Swann | Herald Journal | 2021news

Press conference speakers
Spartanburg Academic Movement Executive Director Russell Booker, County Councilman David Britt, SCC student Jasmine Maya-Torres, SCC President Michael Mikota, and OneSpartanburg, Inc. President and CEO Allen Smith

Spartanburg Community College is hoping to encourage more people to further their education by offering free tuition for one year starting this fall. The move also will allow people to obtain better and higher-paying jobs. 

SCC President Michael Mikota announced on Thursday that qualifying students would be able to attend the college tuition-free for the 2021-22 academic year.

"It's really our gift back to the communities in which we serve in order to support those students and get them re-engaged and get them a jumpstart on their futures," Mikota said. 

The college's announcement was in partnership with OneSpartanburg, Inc.'s Bringing Back the Burg Business Recovery Task Force. OneSpartanburg President and CEO Allen Smith said the college's move for one year of tuition-free education puts Spartanburg County in a position to increase educational attainment levels, attract companies that offer higher wage jobs, and make a generational impact in the community. 

"Right now, we have a 24.5 percent four-year degree attainment rate in Spartanburg County. That's less than the state average and the state average is less than the national average," Smith said. "If we're going to truly diversify our economic development and get into that space where we can create higher wage jobs, you have to have higher education attainment."

Smith also said the move allows the county to build a local pipeline, put more people in the local pipeline, so more people are graduating on a regular basis. 

Both incoming and current students, who take at least six credit hours of classes in the fall, are eligible for the tuition assistance. The free tuition offer is available to students in any program at the college.

Current student Jasmine Maya-Torres, 21, said the year of free tuition would make a big difference to her and her family, leaving money so they can pay for groceries, utility bills and medical bills. Maya-Torres is working toward earning her Associate of Science degree and hopes to transfer and attend medical school to become a pediatrician. 

"The fact that we're having the free tuition in the fall, it's really a blessing to not just me but to anybody who wants to come to class," Maya-Torres said. "I think it will motivate people to the point where they could come back and go back to school."

The free tuition will be made available through institutional scholarships that will cover any outstanding tuition costs students have after other financial aid is applied. The free tuition scholarships come from a portion of the college's Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund II grants.

To qualify, students must complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form and have exhausted all other grants, aid, and toscholarships available to them. 

Push for FAFSA completion:Spartanburg Academic Movement offers free FAFSA workshops at local colleges

The new institutional scholarships are available to students who are looking to start or continue their education, including recent high school graduates, adults with some or no college education, dual-enrolled high school students, and those who wish to return to college for a career change. More information on the scholarship can be found at