Dabney Promise helps students with tuition

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CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (WDBJ7) At Dabney Lancaster Community College right now, you might think the summer doldrums have set in.

Carrels in the library await students in the fall. But even here, one big question is always present.

“We don’t want finances to be an issue," says Dabney President John Rainone, "Which is typically the number one issue why individuals, both parents as well as students directly out of high school, why they do not come to college.”

So they decided to do something about it.

“It’s the Dabney Promise program, and it was established two years ago, so we just finished our second year of the program," says Rachael Thompson, DSLCC Educational Foundation Executive Director. "And very excited to report a 32 percent growth from year one over year two.”

The idea is to provide tuition assistance to as many students as possible, based on need and available funding.

“We do not want financial barriers to be the reason that students are not able to come to Dabney S Lancaster Community College,” Thompson says.

“The middle name of our college is ‘community,’" explains Rainone. "And that‘s what we have to really think about when we think about the citizens of our service area that we have to serve.”

The students just fill out an online application, but ...

“It’s not just automatically free money for everybody," says Rainone. "There is a process. And what I love about it is there’s a community service requirement each semester, because then they’re giving back because we are getting money from the community, from a number of the localities that we serve.”

Making what might have been an impossible college dream reachable and a benefit to the area.