PATERSON, NJ- Paterson residents seeking to continue their education will have an opportunity to attend Passaic County Community College for free in the 2019 spring semester according to local and school officials.
Calling it a “big deal,” PCCC President Dr. Steven Rose said at a Tuesday press conference that through the Community College Opportunity Grants created by Governor Phil Murphy’s first state budget residents who “never thought it would be possible” will now be able to go back to school at no cost.
Open to all Passaic County residents with an adjusted gross income of under $45,000, the only thing standing in the way of the program’s success, which was funded with $25 million spread across 13 community colleges in New Jersey, he said, “is people taking advantage.”
Citing what he calls the “power of partnerships,” Mayor Andre Sayegh spoke of his own experience attending community college because they were the only ones that would take him after his less than stellar high school academic career. Helping increase college entrance rates among Paterson residents isn’t just about earning them credits he said, it’s also about “preparing our workforce for the future.”
Saying her passion for public service is “first and foremost about education,” City Council President Martiza Davila, who also serves as the Assistant Director of Admissions for PCCC, shared that even in its earliest days the program is getting great attention. On Monday, Davila shared, more than 60 people attended a forum she led in partnership with the Paterson Public Schools which led to 22 students applying to take classes.
Potential students can register for the free tuition, Davila said responding to questions, up until the first day of spring classes on January 23.
“Nothing so near can take you so far,” Sayegh concluded in reference to PCCC’s location right in the center of the city and the positive impact an education can have on the ability to get a job and build a career.
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