Nationwide, far fewer high school graduates went to college immediately after high school in the fall of 2020 as a result of COVID-19.
To help bolster college enrollment opportunities in the state, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) recently announced a $1.5 million grant from Helios Education Foundation.
Florida College Access Network (FCAN) and Local College Access Networks (LCANs) throughout the state will collaborate with the Florida College System’s Student Success Center to expand the reach of the grant through partnerships with K-12, postsecondary institutions, businesses, and community-based organizations.
Leveraging existing efforts to promote FAFSA completion, the LCANs will also receive support funding through the grant to promote college enrollment for 2020 and 2021 high school graduates.
“There’s already a lot of tremendous work across the state to ensure all Floridians have multiple opportunities to pursue education beyond high school,” said Charleita M. Richardson, FCAN’s Executive Director. “This grant will be a great boost for those efforts after what has been a uniquely challenging and demanding year.”
Phase 1 of the grant provides over $300,000 to finance and “Fast Track” summer courses for 2020 and 2021 high school graduates to enroll in associate degree programs at all 28 state colleges. Phase 2, targeted at enrolling students in fall 2021, will include additional awards exceeding $600,000 and be announced soon.
“In partnership with the Florida College System Foundation and the Florida College Access Network, this grant helps high school graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021 rise above pandemic-related challenges, enroll in postsecondary education and benefit from the transformational power of education,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation, in a statement.
The full announcement from Helios Education Foundation, the Florida Department of Education, and Florida College Access Network can be found here.