TCL’s paid tuition program was announced during the Nov. 18 ribbon cutting at its Culinary Institute of the South in Bluffton. Chef Miles Huff, dean of the Institute, cuts the ribbon with a chef’s knife, joined by members of TCL’s Area Commission, TCL’s board of directors, donors and others. COURTESY TECHNICAL COLLEGE OF THE LOWCOUNTRY

Are you tired of the same old job? Are you considering a new career or thinking about learning a new skill? If so, college just a got a little easier.

The Technical College of the Lowcountry is offering paid tuition and fees for the spring 2022 semester, thanks to a combination of newly available federal, state and private funding sources. The paid tuition program exemplifies the college’s commitment to students and the community. Cost should never be a barrier to those who desire higher education and a better life.

In fact, affordability is what drove the creation of American community colleges in the early 20th century, and has since been a hallmark of the community college mission.

Just as importantly, providing relevant workforce training was also foundational to the creation of technical colleges. It could also be said it was the creation of the S.C. Technical College System that saved the state’s economy in the 1960s.

During that time, the state’s economy was severely suffering because of the extreme decline in farming. Workers were untrained and under-skilled for new industry.

Technical colleges were created to help solve the problem and provide technically trained workers in order to attract more diversified industry to the state. Workers benefited by getting better-paying jobs.

Today, community and technical colleges like TCL continue to offer affordable and relevant higher education to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. This paid tuition program makes it even easier for students.

Any South Carolina resident who is college eligible can qualify for the paid tuition program. Students must enroll in at least six credit hours, or about two classes, for the semester and also complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). TCL will take care of the rest.

Students can choose from more than 60 programs of study including computer technology, health care, business, building construction, culinary, hospitality and more.

TCL’s hands-on, real-world education leads to high-skilled, in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow. In fact, 95% of our graduates go on to work in their field of study or continue to a four-year degree.

Maybe you’re one of the millions who resigned from a job during the pandemic. Maybe you’re wondering what else is out there. Maybe you want to be your own boss.

Whatever your reason, now is the perfect time to start a path to a new career. TCL’s no tuition and fees might just be the incentive you need. (Note that this program does not cover books or required supplies, and does not apply to dual enrollment or transient students.)

Enroll now for the spring semester. Classes start in January. Visit tcl.edu/paid for more information.

Leigh Copeland is the assistant vice president of marketing and public relations for Technical College of the Lowcountry.