By Andrea Cordle
The city of Grove City is expanding its Higher Education Investment Program.
At the Aug. 20 meeting, Grove City Council accepted the recommendations of the program’s committee to expand the list of approved higher education institutions.
When the Higher Education Investment Program was adopted in 2015, four higher education institutions offered courses in Grove City including Columbus State Community College, Harrison College and Ohio Christian University. Now, the city can add Franklin University and Ohio Dominican University to the list.
“We are the only city that does this,” said councilman Ted Berry. “I am looking forward to other institutions joining as well.”
The Grove City Higher Education Investment Program is designed to encourage students to remain in Grove City after graduation.
“We want them to stay in the community and enhance a talented workforce in the city,” said Berry.
The city program offers a loan of up to $1,000 per semester or $3,000 a year for each student residing within the corporation limits of Grove City, who attend an accredited higher education program that has a presence in Grove City. The students who receive the scholarship must reside in Grove City for three years after taking their last course. Students must also perform a minimum of three hours volunteer work within the community and maintain a C average.
Each student has a maximum loan amount of $12,000. The loans can be used for all levels of higher education degrees. The city appropriates $250,000 a year for the scholarship program.
The program’s intent is to attract higher-paying jobs to the city through an educated workforce and stop younger people from leaving the area to seek other opportunities.
“It is working,” said Berry. “They are staying in the community.”
Councilman Steve Robinette said he would like to see a focus on skilled trades.
“We have companies in our own city that need to fill skilled trade positions,” he said.
Berry said the program does allow for that, as well as the four-year degree. Columbus State offers numerous two-year and skilled trade degrees and certifications.
The city is accepting applications for the winter/spring semester. For more information on the program or its application process, visit www.grovecityohio.gov.