KOFO Local News

High school, college develop plan for reduced-rate college education

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on April 22, 2016

OTTAWA — A proposed deal between Ottawa High School and Neosho County Community College that cuts the cost of college for Ottawa students and allows them to graduate OHS with an associate’s degree from Neosho won praise from those attending Wednesday’s joint government meeting. Under the deal, students would receive free tuition for college classes taught at OHS by OHS teachers, said Ryan Cobbs, high school principal, and who gave a preview to those attending the meeting. Cobbs said he was frustrated that not many students could get college credit even though they took the classes, because they and their families couldn’t afford the $100 per credit hour tuition. “It wouldn’t take long for a student to hit $2,000 in a year or even a semester,” Cobbs said. “A lot of students can’t afford that.” Nor would they be eligible for traditional college financial aid or student loans. More than half of students at the high school are below the poverty line, he said. The school district would pay a flat $53,000 annual fee to the college during the course of the deal. Students taking courses for college credit would pay a $20 an hour fee to help fund the annual fee. Cobbs said the plan will be formally presented to the school board Monday night. Other government officials praised the plan. “This is a big deal,” said Ottawa city manager Richard Nienstedt. The plan would be a powerful economic development incentive for new businesses and industries, he said.

Thursday, April 21, 9 p.m.

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