For Greene County News
SPRINGFIELD – Second-year Clark State Community College student Nick Costides received a pleasant surprise in the form of a phone call from Nina Wiley, the school’s dean of enrollment services.
Costides, a business marketing major, is the first Clark State student to qualify for the new Tuition Challenge Program savings plan.
“I didn’t know anything about it until she called me,” said Costides who is currently enrolled in 18 credit hours for the summer semester.
The Tuition Challenge Program allows full-time students to receive up to a ten percent rebate on their tuition for the following semester. Costides is registered for 17 credit hours in the fall. He will graduate from Clark State in the spring of 2016 and then transfer to Wright State University.
Costides said Clark State gave him a rare opportunity to go to school debt free and receive a competitive, high-level education.
“My friends are all going into debt paying tens of thousands of dollars to start out at major universities,” he said. “It’s exhilarating to know that I can get the same education and go to school debt free. Hard work and education really does pay off.”
The Tuition Challenge Program is one of many cost-saving measures Clark State has recently implemented. This month, the Board of Trustees also approved a motion to freeze tuition at its current rate.
Wiley said she has reached out to an additional eight students who qualified for the program thus far. To qualify, a student must be enrolled as a full-time student and maintain a C or better in each class.
“The whole point of the Tuition Challenge Program is to lower costs for students, but we also want to encourage more students to take full-time classes so they can get closer to their degree and transfer or move into the working world,” said Wiley.
Costides pays out-of-pocket for tuition, and qualifying for the savings program will make a direct impact on his costs.
“Clark State has been an incredible experience for him,” said Costides’ father Nick, Sr. “He’s having big success with his grades, really enjoys his professors and is saving so much money. It’s a big win for our family all around.”
Costides also said his teachers at Clark State care about what they’re teaching, and the small class sizes keep it personal.
“My geology professor also teaches at Wittenberg, giving me the same education for considerably less price,” he said. “The Tuition Challenge Program is a great financial bonus opportunity for hard working students who want to get ahead in life through an unmatched education.”