KISSIMMEE, Fla. - A $12.4 million program known as Osceola Prosper will allow every 2022 graduating senior at Osceola County high schools a free college or technical education.
The scholarships are available through Valencia College and Osceola Technical College. CareerSource Central Florida is helping to support funding aspects of skills training.
"The Osceola County Commission wants you to succeed. We believe you can succeed. And we’ve got your back, so you can succeed," Osceola Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington told students at Liberty and Poinciana high schools. "This is an incredible graduation gift, and it celebrates each and every one of you. It’s my hope that this helps you achieve your dreams – or even to dare to dream for something you never thought possible before today."
"I was surprised in the beginning, thinking ‘There’s no way their giving us free college for two years with no strings attached!,’ but it’s very true! And it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Kayla Crossfield, a 17-year-old Liberty High senior. "I was planning on going on scholarships and financial aid and maybe borrow money, but now I can go for free, it’s a blessing."
The program is open to all members of the 2022 graduating class from Osceola County high schools, charter schools, alternative high schools, private schools, or homeschooling.
To qualify students must:
- Apply to Valencia or Osceola TechnicalCollege and registerfor at least one course, an Accelerated Skills Training program, or an Osceola Technical Program in Summer 2022, Fall 2022, or Spring 2023.
- Complete the 2022-23 Free Application for Federal StudentAid (FAFSA) by July 15, 2022(for fall enrollment), or by December1, 2022 (for spring enrollment). Students not eligible to complete the FAFSA may self-certify they are not able to do so.
Through Osceola Prosper, Osceola County will provide:
- Free application to Valencia College
- Scholarships to cover tuition and fees not otherwise covered by other grants or scholarships for one credential (Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Science degree, Technical Certificate, Accelerated Skills Training, Vocational Training).
In addition, the county will offer a $500 stipend to support related expenses for students who demonstrate financial need. The County is following through on a previously approved strategy to use ARPA funds to have a long-term transformational impact on the community.
More information, including FAQs and contact information, is available at OsceolaProsper.com.