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### Obtain a Free Associate Degree at Indian River State College

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — The staff at Indian River State College is gearing up to launch the third year of the college’s Promise program, which offers a tuition-free Associate Degree. Suzanne Seldes, the associate vice president of communications for IRSC, emphasized the college’s commitment to supporting students who commit to the program, stating, “If you don’t quit, we’re not going to quit on you.”


The Promise initiative targets graduating seniors from high schools in Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties who pledge to enroll at IRSC. In return, the college provides a tuition-free two-year, full-time Associate Degree valued at $6,000.

“We’ve gotta make sure that we’re educating our local students so they will then be educated citizens they will have local jobs they will stay and support our economy,” highlighted Beth Gaskin, the vice president for student success at IRSC.

Beth Gaskin, the vice president for student success at Indian River State College, mentioned that college enrollment saw a decline nationwide, including at IRSC, during the pandemic starting in 2020. However, the local enrollment increased from 23% to 42% in the first year of the Promise Program. Since the fall of 2022, over 4,300 students have committed to the Promise, with 71% being Hispanic and 56% first-generation college students.

The student body at IRSC comprises mainly Hispanic students at 42%, followed by white students at 34.6%, Black students at 14.6%, and others from diverse backgrounds. Gaskin emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusivity on campus, stating, “When our students come to IRSC, they see each other. They see their faculty. They see the staff, and they see we all come from different places.”

Funding for the Promise Program is solely donation-based and is not related to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Despite recent changes in funding for DEI programs at state colleges, IRSC remains committed to providing equal access to education for all students.

Seniors interested in the Promise Program can apply from Wednesday through May 24, with a pep rally scheduled at Treasure Coast to kick off the program’s third year.