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Orangeburg high school students can now earn college degrees at no cost

Orangeburg Advance College will allow 25 high school students to earn an associates' degree while they earn their high school diploma.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and the Orangeburg County School District have signed an agreement to create the Orangeburg Advance College.

The program will allow 25 high school students to earn a college degree at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College at no cost.

Orangeburg County School District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Foster is excited for the opportunity to start the first Orangeburg County Advance College.

"Regardless of your home circumstances, you have a chance to take advantage of this opportunity," explained Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College president Dr. Walt Tobin. "That's the mission of our institution; we take students who are at or below economic poverty levels, and we give them a chance to be successful."

The initial focus of the program will center on arts and sciences. Students will remain at their enrolled home high schools while engaging in high school and college course work.

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"This is an opportunity for our students from the 9th grade to be engaged in college courses with the hope of getting an associate degree even weeks before their high school diploma," said Foster.

Orangeburg Advance College is set to begin next school year. There is an application process that opens in March if you're interested. All high school students in the Orangeburg County School District can apply. 

"We are encouraging staff at those schools to please support the students in completing the nomination form that will also be a part of the application," said Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Assistant VP of Academic Affairs, Willette Berry.

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