Free college program for Osceola County students leads to surge in applications

Hundreds of Osceola County students are taking advantage of Osceola Prospera new program that covers their tuition.

Thanks to money set aside by the US bailout, all Osceola High School graduates in 2022 get a free ride for a two-year degree to Valencia College or Osceola Technical College.

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Valencia College said its enrollment rate has seen a steep 20% drop since 2020. Osceola Prosper said it is expected to put hundreds more students in classrooms this fall, while giving many an opportunity they would have otherwise canceled due to finances.

The college also said it has already received applications for more than 800 students since Osceola Prosper announced in March, bringing the new total of Osceola County seniors applying to Valencia College to more than 1,400.

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Osceola Tech did not respond to requests for registration numbers.

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