Occupational grant available to help high school seniors pay tuition at Riverland Community College

Published 9:47 am Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Riverland Community College offers 88 program areas that qualify for the Occupational Grant Pilot Program that provides significant financial assistance to students in qualifying career and technical programs.

The grant, created by the 2015 Minnesota Legislature provides students financial help at two-year colleges in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system so they can complete occupational and career programs within two years and find employment in high-demand occupations. In order for the student to participate in the pilot program, the student must be admitted into and start the occupational program during Riverland’s 2016 fall term in August.

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“The grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis,” said Patty Hemann, Riverland financial aid director. “It is important for high school students graduating from a Minnesota high school in 2016 complete the FAFSA and to apply and get admitted to Riverland as soon as possible.” Recent GED recipients may also be eligible if awarded between July 1, 2015, and Aug. 22.

Qualifying programs include careers in business, health care, technical/trade, manufacturing, computer science, transportation and others. The grant will cover any remaining tuition and general fee charges after the student’s federal Pell Grant and Minnesota State Grant have been applied to the student’s account. The grant is available for up to 72 semester credits, including any required developmental courses taken after admission to the occupational program.

The program is available for 2016 high school grads and eligible GED recipients  who meet certain financial and academic criteria. Qualifications are located at www.riverland.edu/occupationalgrant. The website also outlines the available programs, grant information, the application process, money disbursement, deadlines and performance qualifications.

Questions about the Minnesota State and College Universities Two-Year Occupational Grant Pilot Program, should contact Riverland’s financial aid director at 507-433-0816 or email patty.hemann@riverland.edu. If you have questions about a particular occupational program, contact the Admissions office at 507-433-0642 or email taylor.daubenberger@riverland.edu.

Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is a community college that has inspired personal success through education for 75 years. Approximately 4,900 students are served annually through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities. An additional 5,400 students are annually served in non-credit courses. Campuses are located in Albert Lea, Austin and Owatonna. Riverland may be found on the Internet at www.riverland.edu.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system includes 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 420,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.