NOVEMBER 18, 2009

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Rose State College Expands Free Tuition Program

Photo of RSC President Terry Britton, Choctaw Superintendent Jim McCharen and Principal Donny Black and Choctaw Chamber dignitaries.
Rose State College President Dr. Terry Britton (second from left) presents a symbolic Ticket to Rose to Choctaw High School superintendent Jim McCharen (far left) and Choctaw principal Donny Black (center). They were joined by Tracy Mosley (second from right), executive vice president, Choctaw Chamber of Commerce, and Mid-Del Schools superintendent Bill Scoggan.

Hundreds more high school students will be able to attend classes tuition-free at Rose State College due to the expansion of a popular benefit.

The benefit, called “Ticket to Rose,” already allows students graduating from three area high schools to attend Rose State College without having to pay tuition.

Now, graduates of Choctaw High School in eastern Oklahoma County will join students from Midwest City, Del City and Carl Albert high schools in the program. The Rose State Board voted to expand the program at a recent meeting since the Choctaw District and the Rose State College Technical Area Education District overlap significantly.

“It is a fulfilling and important mission for Rose State to extend a helping hand to students in need of a solid college education,” said Rose State College president Dr. Terry Britton. “Expanding that mission allows us to better serve our community.”

Students who wish to enroll through Ticket to Rose must graduate high school with a 2.5-weighted grade point average, must complete the Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA) and enroll in at least six credit hours at Rose State College.

“We know that every year there are students who would love to get a college education and can’t, for various reasons. This gives every student at Choctaw who meets the qualifying standards — which are very fair — the chance to get a degree,” said Choctaw High School superintendent Jim McCharen. “We just think it’s an amazing opportunity for the students.”

“We are excited that students who in the past have not been able to attend college, to whom financial reasons were a barrier, that those are no longer a barrier. We know our students will take advantage of it, and we are looking forward to more and more students going to college,” said Choctaw principal Donny Black. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Choctaw graduates more than 300 seniors each year, most of whom would be eligible for the Ticket to Rose program.

Mid-Del schools superintendent Bill Scoggan said Ticket to Rose has grown very valuable to his district’s graduates, especially in the recent economic downturn.

“A lot of our strong students are taking advantage of this program, simply because of the financial conditions,” said Scoggan. “Some real solid kids who plan to go to OU or OSU are saying, ‘You know, I think I’m going to take my first two years at Rose.’ They get a real solid education.”

Figures at Rose State College show that first-time student enrollment increased by approximately 20 percent this year.

For more information about Ticket to Rose, call the Student Welcome Center at (405) 733-7372.