College of the Siskiyous has announced the expansion of its tuition-free Siskiyou Promise program to include a second consecutive year will begin in Fall, 2017.

The college with campuses in Weed and Yreka sees the program for recent graduates of Siskiyou and Modoc county high schools as being part of a growing national movement to provide tuition-free education at community colleges, according to a press release.

The COS Siskiyou Promise program initially provided a tuition-free first year to approximately 120 Class of 2016 graduates from Siskiyou and Modoc county high schools, along with a $200 book voucher for the fall and spring semesters.

COS says that’s a savings of $1,400 or more for full-time students taking 12 or more units. (Students do pay for their books, transportation and living expenses.)

Current Promise students will be contacted by the college with information regarding their eligibility for a continuation award.

Graduating Siskiyou County and Modoc County Class of 2017 high school seniors may apply for a Promise award by visiting the Siskiyou Promise website at www.siskiyous.edu/promise/.

“The Siskiyou Promise isn’t just money! It’s an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of our high school graduates, regardless of their grade point averages, test scores and extracurricular activities,” according to COS. “It’s an opportunity to be successful as a student without the worry of having to miss class to go to work so you can pay for the classes you are missing. Students benefit from an affordable and excellent education at COS.”

Since it was first established in 1957, generations of Siskiyou County residents have attended College of the Siskiyous. The college sees itself as “a training ground for future welders, EMTs, firefighters, child care professionals, and nurses. COS is also an option for students who aren’t quite sure of their next step. Attending a community college allows students to try out a variety of classes without spending thousands of dollars in college tuition – a benefit both for students and their families.”

Like many other Promise awards being offered in California, the COS Promise is for immediate high school graduates. California Community Colleges that have created their own Promise scholarships have taken various approaches to funding their initiatives. The Siskiyou Promise is funded by a variety of sources including state agencies and the COS Foundation.

The www.siskiyous.edu/promise/ website contains information on the steps a student must take in order to attain the Promise, along with detailed instructions, applications, and timelines for applying. All Promise applicants must apply for financial aid through www.fafsa.gov prior to consideration for a Siskiyou Promise scholarship.

The Siskiyou Promise does not replace scholarship awards or grants received from private sources.

Since 1992, as stated in the release, “the COS Foundation has actively raised funds with the intent of helping to keep COS at the forefront of educational quality by developing new programs, improving facilities, providing equipment, and offering student scholarships.”

Community members and businesses interested in working with the COS Foundation and/or supporting the Siskiyou Promise Scholarship with a donation should contact the COS Foundation Office at the Weed Campus by calling (530) 938-5373 or sending an email to foundation@siskiyous.edu.

Donations in support of the Siskiyou Promise scholarship may also be mailed to COS Foundation, Promise Scholarship, 800 College Avenue, Weed, CA 96094.