A Minnesota businessman is sending nearly half of the senior class of Rush City High School to college for free this fall. Dennis Frandsen offered to pay for the entire senior class to attend Pine Technical and Community College’s two-year program. He also plans to donate $1,000 per student toward textbooks and supplies, local NBC affiliate KARE 11 reported.
Dennis Frandsen, the charitable donor, came up with the idea after touring Pine Technical a couple months ago. He said it bothered him that many college students are taking on large amounts of debt. When he came up with the idea of donating free tuition, he told KARE 11, “I thought it was the right thing to do.”
Frandsen then mailed letters to each of the 59 senior seniors; 25 accepted his proposal.
One student had initially planned to skip college and work in construction because he was hoping to avoid taking on student loan debt. After receiving Frandsen’s offer, he decided to study welding at Pine Technical. Another student said that he had no idea how he was going to pay for college until he received Frandsen’s offer.
Frandsen, who never attended college himself, started a logging business at age 17. He now owns dozens of banks as well as a plastic products manufacturer, which is one of the biggest employers in Rush City.
Free tuition probably sounds appealing to a lot of students, but most won’t have a generous benefactor to pay their way through school. However, resourceful students in certain areas can take advantage of state programs as a way to attend college for less, if not for free.
Over the past few years, states like New York, Tennessee, Oregon, Rhode Island, Montana, Minnesota, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Nevada have all sponsored College Promise programs. Promise Programs provide recent high school graduates with two years of tuition-free community college.
However, there are restrictions involved with many of these programs. Graduates are usually required to have been residents for a minimum of two years before completing their degree.
For students that don’t have access to this type of program, there are several ways to find scholarships for community college. There are also a number of schools across the U.S. that offer free tuition to qualifying students. At the end of the day, it takes research to not only find these opportunities, but understand their criteria for eligibility as well.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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