Saving Thousands with Thirteenth Year
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As a middle college, Brashier offers numerous advantages that students would not be able to find at a public school. One of the advantages of attending Brashier is that students have the opportunity to take college classes while still in high school, but Greenville Tech offers a program called Thirteenth Year that allows graduating Seniors to continue to take college courses for free.
“[Thirteenth Year] is a program offered [at] Greenville Tech for students who were in one of the Greenville Tech Charter Schools; so that would be Brashier, Greenville Tech Charter, and Greer Middle College. It is an opportunity, if the student’s GPA is high enough coming out of high school, for them to take a free year of college at Greenville Tech,” says math teacher Mike Diener.
Students must cover the cost of textbooks and any miscellaneous fees, but this program allows students to avoid paying tuition for the first year of their college career; as the price of education continues to rise, the value of this program cannot be overstated. The average cost of tuition and fees for a year of college in South Carolina is $7,517 and Brashier graduates have the opportunity to avoid paying this price.
“I decided to do Thirteenth Year because I was already planning on doing the nursing program at Greenville Tech, so why pay more money when you can go for free? I think it’s a good idea to save up money and get a head start on student loans,” says senior Sarah O’Bryan.
Brashier actively encourages students to pursue this program, which is why Seniors are invited to attend an informational meeting in mid March about the program and how to apply.
“The information meeting that the school is having is taking place far too late in the year. Most students have already decided what school they are going to including myself,” says senior Samantha Britt.
Even though this program allows graduating Seniors to earn a year of college credits free of cost, most will not consider applying. This begs the question, why would students not want to take advantage of a program that would save them thousands of dollars?
“The reason I’m not doing Thirteenth Year is because I’m getting a soccer scholarship. At one point when I was unsure of how much money I’d be getting, the Thirteenth Year was a real possibility for me,” says Britt.
However, other people tend to look down on the Thirteenth Year and refuse to take part in the program because of the negative connotations often associated with it.
“I think the issue with students actually taking advantage of the program comes down to perception. There’s this perception that somehow it is a worse option, not as good as other colleges, or you’re not ‘as good of a student’ if you enter the program, but whatever the perception is it’s a negative perception and I think that a lot of students won’t even consider [Thirteenth Year]. I think unless you have a full scholarship to another college, it’s ridiculous to not at least consider it because of the amount of money you save. So the school talks about Thirteenth Year, we recommend it, but it often falls on deaf ears. Students have already made up their mind about the program before they hear the advantages,” says Diener.