SPC expands its Promise Scholarship to three more high schools in 2024

Graduates from eight Pinellas County high schools can earn a degree tuition-free through the SPC Promise Scholarship.  Pictured above are four Promise Scholarship recipients: Left, Dejan Kisin (Northeast High School), Gabe Daniel (Tarpon Springs High School), Edith Palma-Hernandez (Clearwater High School) and Cameryn Lewis (Pinellas Park High School). PINELLAS COUNTY — St. Petersburg College (SPC) […]

SPC expands its Promise Scholarship to three more high schools in 2024
Graduates from eight Pinellas County high schools can earn a degree tuition-free through the SPC Promise Scholarship.  Pictured above are four Promise Scholarship recipients: Left, Dejan Kisin (Northeast High School), Gabe Daniel (Tarpon Springs High School), Edith Palma-Hernandez (Clearwater High School) and Cameryn Lewis (Pinellas Park High School).

PINELLAS COUNTY — St. Petersburg College (SPC) is continuing its Promise Scholarship and expanding the number of Pinellas County high schools where the scholarship will be offered. The scholarship will provide 2024 graduates of eight high schools — up from five — the opportunity to attend SPC for free.

The eligible high schools are:

  • Boca Ciega High School (new in 2024)
  • Clearwater High School
  • Gibbs High School (new in 2024)
  • Hollins High School (new in 2024)
  • Lakewood High School
  • Northeast High School
  • Pinellas Park High School
  • Tarpon Springs High School

Upcoming graduates of these Pinellas County high schools can get their tuition and fees completely covered by the scholarship as they obtain associate degrees or financial aid-eligible certificates. The scholarship opportunity was launched earlier this year as a pilot program for 2023 graduates of the five area high schools with the highest poverty rates in Pinellas County. In 2023, over 460 students received the scholarship.

Gabe Daniel, a 2023 Tarpon Springs High School graduate who enrolled at SPC this fall, acknowledged that the scholarship changed his mind about attending college.

“A weight is gone,” he said. “You always hear about student debt, and to have none is kind of crazy.”

The scholarship is targeted toward Title I high schools in Pinellas County and is designed to provide graduates with an opportunity to obtain a degree without the burden of student loan debt.

“Creating economic mobility in our communities is central to our mission at SPC,” said SPC President Dr. Tonjua Williams. “This scholarship is a prime example of SPC’s promise to provide better lives through a college education. We are the starting point for students to obtain better jobs and better futures.”

By focusing on these communities, SPC is fulfilling its mission to uplift residents in underserved, high-poverty areas within Pinellas County. An associate degree is a ticket to a better-paying job, a fulfilling career, and a better future. The college also offers many other scholarships to students. In the 2022-23 school year, SPC awarded $6.6 million in public and private scholarships.

“Education is crucial to breaking generational cycles of poverty,” said Dr. Jamelle Conner, SPC’s Vice President of Student Affairs. “The promise of a college degree at no cost is an investment in our community that will help underserved students find paths to careers, and we can’t wait to welcome them into the Titan family.”

To apply, students must:

  • Complete a FAFSA
  • Complete the SPC application
  • Enroll for at least six (6) credit hours, beginning in the Fall 2024 Term following their high school graduation

Requirements to keep the scholarship include:

  • Complete the FAFSA each year
  • Be continuously enrolled for at least six (6) credit hours in both fall and spring terms
  • Complete an associate degree or a financial aid-eligible certificate by the end of their third academic year
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA and a successful course completion rate

Monies are disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis. Once an SPC application is submitted, students will be sent the next steps.

More details on the scholarship are available at spc.edu/promisescholarship.