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Birmingham Mayor Announces Free College Program for Students

Birmingham Mayor Announces Free College Program for Students

This deserves a round of applause!

The Mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, Randall Woodfin, just announced a plan to provide free college tuition for his high school constituents. 

In a statement posted to Twitter Mayor Woodfin stated, “Starting in 2020, any Birmingham City School student that walks across the graduation stage will have the opportunity to attend any in-state two or four year college tuition free.”

 

There are 61 colleges and universities in Alabama. Under the Birmingham Promise Initiative free tuition will be offered to any student that lives within the Birmingham city limits and has attended Birmingham City Schools (BCS) for a full 12 years. Students that have attended a city school for less than 12 years will be eligible to receive tuition for an amount that corresponds with their time within the school system. 

An apprenticeship is also included in the new initiative. Junior and senior high school students who attend a Birmingham City School can apply for an apprenticeship with participating companies and get paid $7.50 an hour that the city will match. After graduation, students will be able to continue working at the company.

Superintendent of BCS Lisa Herring and Mayor Woodfin released a statement detailing the reasons behind the initiative, saying “More than 45 percent of our students are living in poverty, and only 50 percent of BCS students advance to post-secondary institutions. Birmingham is home to more than 26,000 young people looking for work, a disproportionate share of the nearly 90,000 Jefferson County residents are unemployed or underemployed.” 

The program, a partnership between public and private sectors, including national think tank, the Brookings Institution, was created to change those statistics and help alter the future of Birmingham’s workforce by creating opportunities for the city’s youth. 

We love it! Because of you Mayor Woodfin!