Hundreds of SC Technical College Students Demonstrate their Appreciation for Lottery Tuition Assistance at State House
|Students arriving at State House|
|Raymond Hudson speaks to the crowd|
|Technical college students show their support|
COLUMBIA (Jan. 24, 2012) – Hundreds of SC Technical College System students gathered at the State House Tuesday (Jan. 24) to show their support and appreciation for the Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTA) program. Speakers included Dr. Darrel Staat, system president; Sen. John Courson, chair, Senate Education Committee; Rep. Phil Owens, chair, Education and Public Works Committee; and Raymond Hudson, an LTA recipient and student at Central Carolina Technical College.
The group of more than 300 students represents a fraction of the nearly 330,000 technical college students who have benefitted from LTA since its inception 10 years ago. The SC Technical College System 52% of all undergraduate students in the state. The technical colleges educate South Carolinians to live and work in South Carolina – 97% of technical college students are South Carolina citizens and 85% choose to work and live in the state after graduation. An average 82% of System graduates are placed in a job related to their area of study or continue their education at 4-year institution.
“Today we are putting a face on the impressive numbers the SC Technical College System boasts. Each of these more than 300 students present today has their own personal story of how LTA has helped them achieve their education and career goals. Goals that are important to our state—that will help build a skilled workforce for our future.” said Staat in addressing the crowd of students. “We appreciate the General Assembly’s foresight in creating this program. Their continued support and consistent funding of Lottery Tuition Assistance is vital to ensuring that a quality higher education is accessible and affordable for all South Carolinians.”
Raymond Hudson, an LTA recipient enrolled in the Computer Technology program at Central Carolina Technical College spoke on behalf of technical college students who receive the assistance and gave a riveting speech.
“After years of working in the furniture industry, I found myself unemployed with very few options open to me. Driving by the Central Carolina Technical College in early January this year, I just felt compelled to stop in and see what was available that I might have an interest in,” said Hudson. “That was probably the best move I could have made - especially finding out about Lottery Tuition Assistance. Without it, I could not hope to continue with my studies.”
“The technical colleges of South Carolina and Lottery Tuition Assistance opens the door to higher education for many South Carolinians,” said Courson. “The group gathered here today represent the bright future of South Carolina.”
“The technical colleges have made a tremendous impact on the advanced post-secondary education levels in this state.” said Owens. “The 16 technical colleges provide the availability for South Carolinians and LTA provides the accessibility.”
The Lottery Tuition Assistance program was created by the General Assembly in 2002 for public two-year institutions. Unlike merit-based lottery-funded aid, award amounts are not guaranteed from semester to semester, and fluctuate based on lottery collections and the demand.