Governor Wolf Proposes ‘Educate and Stay in PA’

NANTICOKE, Pa. -- Governor Wolf just presented his 2019 budget which includes a part that would support community colleges and its students in the state.

"I know a lot of students who would love to stay around the area especially if we have a little bit of a reason to," said Cassandra Thomas, LCCC student.

The governor is proposing an investment of $8 million for a program he calls "Educate and Stay in PA."

The program would give one-time grants of $2,500 to Pennsylvania community college students and graduates who stay and work in the state.

Newswatch 16 spoke with students on Luzerne County Community College's campus about the proposal.

"A lot of the bigger schools have a lot more scholarships and a lot more available, so I think it would be great if we had a little bit more," said Thomas.

"I think that's what community colleges are all about, so I think it's a perfect investment for the state to make for community college students," said Thomas Leary, LCCC President.

LCCC's president is happy to see proposals like this one in the budget that support community colleges.

"I think it's a recognition of what an important role community colleges play in this state and particularly in regions. For example, 85% of our graduates remain right here at home in northeastern Pennsylvania," said Leary.

The students we spoke with say this type of proposal is a game changer for community college students. They believe more and more people are choosing to get their associate degrees than ever before.

"I like the idea that the associate's degree is a lot better fit for a lot more people in this day and age versus, maybe 30-40 years ago when you needed a four-year degree," said Sharra Walton, student.

Right now, this is just a proposal. The state's budget still needs to be approved by the legislature.

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