Henry County Education Fund offers certification scholarships

A scholarship opportunity will soon be available for Henry County residents who want to obtain a post-secondary career certification.

“The Henry County Education Fund is a community-based initiative born from the 2022 Bicentennial Celebration to positively impact the area’s future residents,” according to an announcement press release. “The fund is held by the Henry County Community Foundation (HCCF). The initial investment is from the 2022 Bicentennial Celebration.”

Henry County Economic Development President and CEO Corey Murphy spoke about the Fund last month during a meeting of the Henry County Commissioners.

Murphy said the goal is to improve the accessibility of post-secondary certificates through Ivy Tech Community College with a preference given to certificates offered at the New Castle Ivy Tech campus.

“Certificates are industry-focused and designed for workforce preparation,” the press release said. “Earned in as little as six months, certificates will be the fastest path to getting into the workforce.”

Furthermore, certificate coursework can later apply toward an associate degree program or other transfer option. Those eligible to apply for the Henry County Education Fund include:

Henry County high school seniors with a minimum 2.0 GPA

Henry County residents with a high school degree or equivalent

Adults employed in Henry County with a high school degree or equivalent

Certificates eligible for the Henry County Education Fund include addiction studies, automation and robotics technology, architectural design, business administration, criminal justice, entrepreneurship, pre-nursing, web application development, industrial electrical, cloud systems administration, informatics, supply chain management/logistics, salesforce administrator, cybersecurity incident analyst, and data analytics.

According to the press release, Ivy Tech’s current tuition rate is $170.07 per credit hour. Certificate tuition ranges from 12-27 credit hours.

“The estimated tuition investment for a certificate would range between $2,041 and $4,762,” the press release said. “There may be other fees in addition to tuition.”

Unlike traditional scholarships, the Henry County Education Fund offers “last dollar scholarships,” meaning funds are applied after other sources of gift aid have been applied, such as Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA), employer contributions, etc.

Murphy said that, from a sustainability perspective, proceeds from the Henry County Bicentennial celebration are being invested with Henry County Community Foundation to create an endowment for future scholarships.

“Endowed funds are permanent and scholarships are paid only from the earnings, not the original gift amount,” Murphy explained.

Murphy said the Henry County Redevelopment Commission (RDC) has the ability to support workforce training and has partnered with the other entities involved to offer $10,000 to make some scholarships available this year, until earnings from the original Henry County Bicentennial gift become available.

HCCF President and Executive Director Jennifer Fox said the Foundation’s board of directors approved the Henry County Education Fund last week. Henry County Education Fund applications will soon be available on the Foundation’s website and funds will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

How many scholarships will be funded depends on how much financial assistance an individual needs. For instance, if one individual needs $1,000 after all other forms of assistance have been applied, $9,000 will remain in the scholarship fund to assist other applicants.

The Henry County Education Fund’s long-term goal is to fund 100 or more scholarships by 2032, Henry County’s 210th birthday.

Murphy said an additional long-term goal is to have the funding capacity to offer scholarships for degree programs, similar to what is available in Shelby County through the “Shelby County Advantage,” which funds last-dollar scholarships for associate degrees to students at Shelby County high schools.

For more information about certificate programs available at the New Castle Ivy Tech campus, call 765-599-2613 or visit www.ivytech.edu/programs/degrees-certificates.

To donate to the Henry County Education Fund, contact the Henry County Community Foundation at 765-529-2235, visit www.henrycountycf.org, or email info@henrycountycf.org.

Businesses and employers looking to form partnerships associated with the Henry County Education Fund should contact Murphy at 765-521-7402, or by emailing cmurphy@growinhenry.com.

Read the article originally published by The Courier Times.

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