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EFSC Foundation Event Supports Scholarships

June 5, 2014 - Keeping college affordable is perhaps the most critical issue facing higher education and the key to opening doors for students to improve their lives.

And the way to achieve that goal is through maintaining low tuition rates and providing more financial aid and scholarships.

Dr. Richey
EFSC President Dr. Jim Richey
shares his thoughts on keeping tuition affordable with attendees at a reception for members of the Space Coast's legal community.

That outlook was shared Thursday evening by Eastern Florida State College President Dr. Jim Richey with members of Brevard County’s legal community during a gathering sponsored by the Eastern Florida State College Foundation.

The event was held at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne Campus to support the foundation’s work to increase funding for scholarships.

Richey said attending college is the single most important thing a person can do to set a strong course in life, with the payoff also benefiting succeeding generations in a family.

“That’s why all of us at Eastern Florida are focused on a singular goal: To expand educational opportunities for students with new programs in today’s best career fields where job growth is strong and expected to get stronger, and which gives them an excellent opportunity for employment and success upon graduation,” he said.

legal fundraiser student
Eastern Florida State College student Gwen Noack shared how a scholarship from the EFSC Foundation is helping her pursue a nursing degree.

Richey cited the college’s major accomplishments in the past year, including launching nine new Bachelor Degree programs in Business, Health Care and Computer Information Technologies.

He said many of the students enrolling in the courses are working adults who are learning new skills and advancing their careers.

“That shows the critical need we are meeting in providing four-year degrees, and doing it in a way that is affordable and in a format that allows students to stay close to home,” he said.

In all, the college has added 22 new academic programs the past two years, including new Associate Degree and Certificate programs.

Richey also discussed a new Veterans Resource Center that is helping veterans transition into the classroom and a Career Planning and Development Center that has served more than 30,000 students as examples of successful college initiatives.

Steve Charpentier, vice chair of the college’s Board of Trustees and former chair of the Brevard Bar Association, speaks to colleagues at the EFSC Foundation event at the King Center.

But for students to take advantage of those opportunities “we must do everything possible to make college affordable and not leave them with crushing debt when they graduate,” he said.

To that end, Richey said he has not raised tuition in the two years since he became president and will hold the line again in the upcoming 2014-15 fiscal year.

He also called for increased support for the Foundation to help it “meet rising student needs” for financial aid.

“With your help, the Foundation will continue helping to build Eastern Florida State College into an institution to make our promise of “Explore, Achieve, Succeed” a reality for our current and future students, he said.

The event also featured remarks from students who have benefited from the Foundation’s services and comments from Steve Charpentier, vice chair of the college’s Board of Trustees and former chair of the Brevard Bar Association.

Charpentier thanked attorneys for their support of the college, saying it’s essential as Eastern Florida continues growing and playing an important role in the future of Brevard and Central Florida.