GUILFORD COUNTY, NC -- With just two weeks left to begin applying for a Say Yes Guilford scholarship, some parents are left with a lot of questions.
The program once offered free college tuition for everyone in Guilford County Schools, but starting next year, that will no longer be the case.
Last month, organizers announced major changes to the eligibility requirements for the scholarship program – creating concern from parents like Katie Barbee.
“Without the Say Yes program, my grandson's probability of not going to college is likely,” said Barbee. “This is my first time being involved in the Say Yes program and I want him to have every opportunity to continue his education and also to get the funding that's out here that's available for students.”
Donnie Turlington with Say Yes Guilford says the changes have been met with a lot of anger, frustration, and also curiosity.
This month, leaders with Say Yes Guilford are hosting a series of informational sessions to meet with parents to answer whatever questions they have through a series of informational sessions throughout the region.
“We want to make sure that there is not a family out there with a question that they really need to get answered where we can help them,” said Turlington. “If they are frustrated, we want hear from them too because we pass that information on to our scholarship board to make sure they are hearing from all the families and all the perspectives are being shared.”
Workers at Say Yes Guilford say the three questions they're getting the most are:
1) Why are these changes happening?
In its first year, Say Yes Guilford paid out nearly $6 million in scholarships to send more than 2,000 Triad kids to college.
The organization spent about six times more than they expected.
So in order to keep the program up and running for years to come, last month officials with Say Yes Guilford announced major changes to program.
2) How will this affect my family?
These changes apply to everyone including the students who already received scholarship money and are in college now.
From now on, the more money your family makes per year -- the less you'll be able to qualify for in scholarship money.
Also, depending on how long your child has been a student in Guilford County Schools, they might not qualify at all!
3) When is the deadline to apply for a scholarship?
The first set of paperwork to apply for a Say Yes Guilford scholarship is due May 1.
There are three additional Say Yes Guilford information sessions happening this week:
April 18, 6-7:30 pm
Andrews High School
1920 McGuinn Dr.
April 19, 6-7:30 pm
Southern High School Cafeteria
5700 Drake Rd.
April 20, 6-7:30 pm
Smith High School Auditorium
2401 S. Holden Rd.
For a complete break down of the changes to the eligibility requirements of the Say Yes program, click here.