Area colleges launch new program to help returning students finish degree

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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB)-- A new program is launching at area colleges to help people finish their degree.

The new 'Last Mile Completion Program' is a part of the governor's challenge to move Florida from number 24 to number 1 in the nation for its workforce by 2030.

The College of Central Florida, Santa Fe College, and Florida Gateway College are all participating.

The program will help students return to college and get their degree.

"It's great for earning power we know that our graduates in our associate of arts, associate of science and certificate programs all earn above the average wage in our local service area so we want to get those graduates to have that additional earning power for their benefit,” said the Vice President of Student Affairs at the College of Central Florida, Saul Reyes.

To participate in the Last Mile Completion Program and qualify for the FinishSmart@CF Scholarship a student must:
-be a Florida resident for tuition purposes
-have attended CF within the past eight years
-have not attended CF within the last two semesters
-have completed a Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) demonstrating financial need
-meet financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress standards
-be within 12 credit hours of completing their first degree.