HCTC Promise Sets COVID Senior up for Success in Journey to Pharmacy School
Through the last two years, high school seniors across the country have faced unprecedented times. With a pandemic raging in their communities, events like dances, football games, and even graduations were cancelled or switched to a sometimes less than successful virtual format. Needless to say, what was supposed to be the best year of their educational career turned into a nightmare. This was the world for Dawson Browning in the 2020-2021 academic year.
A student at Perry Central High School, Browning thought his final year as a high schooler might turn out differently than his predecessors due to increased vaccination rates and just a bit of hopefulness.
“I had really hoped to have a normal senior year, but that just wasn’t going to happen,” he says.
Browning and his family made the decision in May 2021 that he would stay back a year to repeat his senior year—with better and more traditional results than the last year—and become a supplemental senior as part of Kentucky’s Supplemental School Year Program set up in March. Since he had already completed what classes he needed as a high school senior, Browning enrolled in the dual-credit program at his high school in order to take some college classes so he would be ahead of the games once he graduated.
“I was torn on if I should go to a community college, like Hazard Community and Technical College (HCTC) or a bigger university,” Browning explains.
The biggest deciding factor for Browning was the lack of financial aid he would be receiving no matter where he went.
“I ultimately decided to go to HCTC because I just don’t come from a very wealthy family but at the same time we don’t get financial aid,” he says. “So, I decided to come to HCTC for the cost.”
Little did he know at the time that HCTC was rolling out a new scholarship—HCTC Promise—that promised to pay full tuition costs for any first-time students to the college, including supplemental seniors enrolled in dual credit.
“I was so excited to learn about this scholarship. It’s made it even better because I get a whole first year free instead of having to come up with a payment plan,” he says.
Browning adds that Promise has given he and his family an extra year to save up for his next steps for his education. In Fall 2022 he says he will be enrolling in the Appalachian School of Pharmacy in Virginia to become a pharmacist.
“This has helped us out a lot. I don’t know how we would have done it without the scholarship,” he says. “It’s really made college something attainable financially.”
Even without the possibility of the Promise scholarship, Browning adds, HCTC is a fantastic option for anyone want to further their education.
“You can come here and get the same kinds of classes you would anywhere else, and you can transfer out to another university if you want to,” he says. “If you’re going to start college you should start with HCTC.”