Scholarship removes barriers to higher education

Katrina Nguyen, staff reporter

When people think of college, they think it’s difficult and it’s expensive. But students in the Seattle Public Schools district can stress a little less about financing their education because the city is planning to make community college free for two years in 2020.
South Seattle College’s 13th Year Promise Scholarship recently evolved into a new program called the Seattle Promise scholarship that allows students in the Seattle area to go to Seattle Colleges tuition free for two years.
Napsiyah Sallee, SoED counselor for 10th, 11th and 12th graders, said Cleveland graduates can go to Seattle Colleges for free if they attend classes and are in good academic standing.
This is an opportunity for high schoolers in the Seattle area because tuition is paid for two years then students can transfer to a four-year university before deciding their field of study or major. This also allows students to quickly acquire skills valuable to the job market and get jobs in their field of study quickly.
Senior Emma Scanlan believes the Seattle Promise Scholarship makes college more equitable for students of all incomes.
“I think it’s excellent,” she said. “I think that especially a lot of kids in South end schools don’t go to college because of the lack of financial aid, and I think that this is a really, really good opportunity that opens stuff up.”
Since some students in the Seattle area might not be able to afford for a four-year college or even a community college, this scholarship may help hundreds or even thousands of students who want to pursue a higher education.
Senior August Jackson believes the scholarship allows students to be self-reliant and not depend on others to fund their education.
“It makes it a lot easier for me to become independent because I wouldn’t have to rely on my parents,” Jackson said.
Although some students may have to rely on their parents for financial needs even with a job, this scholarship allows students and parents to be less stressed about college and tuition for two years and lets students get closer to their dreams and goals.