The IRSC Promise: A Tuition-Free Associate Degree!
Coming January 24, 2024!
Once you've pledged Promise, you'll receive an email with the subject "IRSC Promise Next Steps!" This email will contain the following steps:
- First Deadline:
- IRSC application for admission: Apply for an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Applied Associate in Science Degree.
- FAFSA (if applicable): Visit www.studentaid.gov to complete the 2024-25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We encourage students to apply for financial aid as it may cover the cost of fees and books. The Promise will cover any tuition balance not covered by financial aid or scholarships.
- Florida residency documentation: To claim in-state residency for tuition purposes, the form Florida Residency Declaration (Form FRD-1) needs to be submitted through the Residency Statement action item in the student Workday inbox.
- Second Deadline:
- For public and public charter school students: Official academic transcripts must be sent directly from the high school to IRSC Student Records. You may also deliver them to one of our campuses in person, as long as the envelope is sealed.
- For homeschool students: Submit an IRSC Homeschool Affidavit Form and School District Letter acknowledging establishment or termination of your homeschool education program.
- Register and enroll in at least 12 credit hours: Between May 2024 and July 2024, you will meet with your Student Success Coach or Academic Advisor and register for at least 12 credit hours.
You will need to complete all requirements for IRSC Admission by July 2024.
- Graduate from an Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, or St. Lucie County public or charter high school in 2024, or be an in-district approved homeschool 2023 graduate;
- Meet all Promise deadlines (below); and
- Be a U.S. citizen eligible for in-state tuition or a non-U.S. Citizen eligible for in-state tuition.
- By March 2024: Take the pledge, your formal commitment to the “Promise.”
- By May 2024: Apply for admission, complete the FAFSA, and provide Florida residency documentation or a High School Waiver Form.
- By July 2024:
- Register for at least 12 credits for the Fall 2024 term.
- Public/Charter School Students: Submit a final, official high school transcript with graduation date posted.
- Homeschool Students: Submit an IRSC Homeschool Affidavit Form and School District Letter acknowledging establishment or termination of your homeschool education program.
The Promise program will be renewed for students who:
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and a 2.0 GPA each term (Fall, Spring, Summer);
- Maintain a full-time courseload for each academic term;
- Successfully complete at least 30 hours over the academic year (an academic year includes fall, spring, and summer terms);
- Renew their FAFSA by March 1 (school code 001493); and
- Check-in with an assigned advisor at least once per term.
Frequently Asked Questions for Continuing Promise 2023 Students
Frequently Asked Questions for Promise 2024 Students
Is there an application fee?
Yes, there is a $20 application fee to apply to IRSC. There is no fee to pledge to the Promise Program.
Are there any other costs apart from tuition for the Promise Program?
The Promise Program covers tuition only. There are additional costs you should budget for, including books, supplies, transportation, rent, and food. Examples of fees you could be responsible for include distance learning fees, lab fees, and other special fees.
For more information on Indian River State College fees, visit http://irsc.smartcatalogiq.com/en/current/Catalog/Services-to-Students/Pay-for-Classes-Fees.
Do students have to take the P.E.R.T.?
Students graduating from a Florida public high school in 2023 are exempt from the P.E.R.T. per SB1720—but are strongly encouraged—to complete placement testing to ensure success.
Does the Promise apply to career-training (non-degree) certificates?
Several IRSC programs allow you to earn industry certifications as you progress toward your degree. These include A.S. and A.A.S. programs in trades such as Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems Technology; Automotive Service Management Technology; Building Construction Technology; Criminal Justice Technology; and Fire Science Technology. You must be enrolled full-time in an Associate Degree program to be part of the IRSC Promise Program.
View IRSC Associate in Science/Associate in Applied Science Degree programs at https://irsc.edu/programs/associate-in-science-degree-programs.html.
Does the Promise apply to vocational programs or certificates?
Not yet. Initially, the Promise applies to A.A., A.S., and A.A.S. programs, but we will evaluate the program for expansion.
If I complete the pledge to the Promise Program by the deadline but don’t enroll for classes in the Fall 2023 semester, can I still be in the Promise Program?
No, students must complete all admissions requirements by May 2024, and all registration requirements by July 2024, to participate in Promise 2023.
Can I sign up for more than 12 credit hours in my first term?
Yes. Students must complete at least 12 credit hours to remain at full-time status, but they may take up to 18 credits per term should they wish to complete their Associate Degree faster.
What happens if it takes me more than 60 credits to get my degree, will the Promise cover my tuition?
Yes, the Promise will cover up to 66 credits to complete an Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.), or Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree.
What happens if I fail a class, but maintain a 2.0 GPA? Will the Promise be taken away?
No, as long as the student maintains Satisfactory Academic Progress and a 2.0 GPA each term, they will remain in the Promise Program. Students must successfully complete at least 30 hours over the academic year. An academic year includes fall, spring, and summer terms.
Can I start taking classes in summer as part of the Promise Program?
You may take classes in the summer term after your senior year; however, Promise funding will not begin until the Fall 2024 term.
How many Promise program participants are projected to continue on for a four-year degree afterward?
That is unknown at this time. However, data show that once a student steps on the up escalator of higher education, they will continue. We are confident that the opportunity to earn a tuition-paid Associate Degree at IRSC can inspire an educational awakening that will continue throughout one’s life.
Will the program be extended to underclassmen?
We will continue to evaluate the program for next year to make expansion plans.
Is there a minimum high school GPA to apply?
The Promise program requires that you graduate in 2023 from a public or public charter high school in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee or St. Lucie county or be an eligible in-district homeschool graduate. Students must meet the minimum 2.0 GPA required for high school graduation.
Once students enroll at IRSC, they must maintain a 2.0 GPA to continue to receive
Are private school students eligible for the Promise?
Not yet. We will continue to evaluate the program for next year to make expansion plans.
We encourage private school graduates to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for IRSC Foundation Scholarships for assistance with funding.
Are homeschooled students eligible for the Promise?
Yes, eligible 2024 in-district homeschool graduates are eligible for the Promise Program.
What's an eligible homeschool graduate?
In-district 2024 homeschool students need to provide an IRSC Homeschool Affidavit Form + School District Letter acknowledging the establishment or termination of their home education program.
Students homeschooled through a private school are considered private school students, not homeschoolers and are not eligible for the IRSC Promise Program.
Are Dual Enrollment students eligible for the Promise?
Yes. Any student that is a 2024 graduate from an in-district public or public charter high school or an eligible 2024 in-district homeschool graduate, regardless of incoming credit, can pledge to the IRSC Promise program.
Are G.E.D.® students eligible for the Promise?
G.E.D.® students are not yet eligible for the IRSC Promise program. We will continue to evaluate the program for next year to make expansion plans.
We encourage G.E.D.® students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for IRSC Foundation Scholarships for assistance with funding.
Are DACA students eligible for the Promise?
DACA students can pledge to the Promise Program, and we will work with each student individually to determine if they are eligible for the Promise.
Are Florida Virtual School students eligible for the Promise?
No. Only graduates of public and public charter high schools in Martin, Indian River, Okeechobee, and St Lucie counties or eligible in-district homeschool graduates are eligible.
We encourage Florida Virtual School graduates to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for IRSC Foundation Scholarships for assistance with funding.
Do students have to be Florida Residents to qualify for the Promise?
Yes. Students must be Florida residents, specifically residents of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie counties, for tuition purposes or have a documented High School Waiver to qualify for the Promise.
Are undocumented students eligible for the Promise?
Undocumented students can pledge to the Promise Program if they’ve gone to school in Florida for their 10th-, 11th-, and 12th-grade years continuously. We will work with each student individually to determine if they are eligible for the Promise.
If I already have Florida Pre-paid, can I still be eligible for the Promise?
The IRSC Promise Program allows families with 529 plans, like Florida Prepaid, to stretch their investments even further. Those seeking to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree after completing an IRSC Associate Degree tuition-free can apply pre-paid balances toward that next educational milestone. Unused Florida Pre-Paid monies may also be returned to you; see www.myfloridaprepaid.com for details.
Am I still eligible for the Promise if I already have Bright Futures or scholarships?
The Promise will apply to any tuition balance after funds from Bright Futures or scholarships have been applied.
What if I complete an A.A. concurrent with 2024 high school graduation and want to pursue an A.S. at IRSC?
In this case, you would qualify for the Promise program to complete an A.S. Degree.
Am I eligible if I'm part of the 2024 graduating class but finished classes early in December?
Yes, any student who completes high school during the 2023-24 academic year is part of the 2024 graduating class and is eligible for the Promise.
Do students have to demonstrate financial need or be first generation students to qualify?
No, the Promise is not based on need, however Promise students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year.
What if a student needs fewer than 12 credits to complete an Associate Degree in fall 2023?
Promise will cover credits up to the completion of the Associate Degree.
If I pay for the tuition for my summer classes after my senior year, can I still be eligible for the Promise Program for the Fall semester?
Yes, if you cover the cost of tuition for your summer classes you are eligible to participate in the Promise Program for the Fall term.
Are IRSC student-athletes eligible for the Promise Program?
Student-athletes receiving the Promise Program award are subject to additional grade point average (GPA) requirements per NJCAA and FCSAA rules and regulations. The eligibility to maintain the financial benefit of the Promise Program and continue to compete under NJCAA and FCSAA guidelines is contingent upon maintaining the standards outlined by these governing bodies. The IRSC Athletic Director will monitor the determination of eligibility at Indian River State College. Anyone with questions should contact the Athletic Department for more information.
Is the Promise program considered to be a type of educational grant?
The Promise Program is not a grant or scholarship. It is a tuition-paid program sponsored by the IRSC Foundation and funded through generous donor philanthropy and unrestricted investment proceeds.
If I get financial aid, does the IRSC Promise still apply to me?
We encourage students to apply for financial aid as it may cover the cost of fees and books. The Promise will cover any tuition balance not covered by financial aid or scholarships.
If I don’t qualify for Financial Aid or Scholarships will the Promise Program cover my tuition?
Yes, the Promise Program will cover the cost of tuition for a student who doesn’t qualify for Financial Aid or Scholarships.
If I fail/withdraw from a class will the Promise Program keep covering my tuition?
Yes, the Promise Program will allow for two attempts to pass a class.
If I get financial aid or scholarships, can I get cashback for the Promise Program?
No, the Promise Program is last-dollar funding, meaning it will cover any tuition cost after financial aid and scholarships have been applied. Financial aid students may be eligible for additional funds to cover education-related expenses; see the financial aid office for details. There is no cash value to the Promise Program.
What if I have additional course and program fees that need to be paid and I can’t pay the total payment by the deadline?
All students are eligible to enroll on our Nelnet Tuition Payment Plan. This plan lets you pay your remaining fees through a monthly payment plan, making college more affordable. It is simple to enroll and can be done through this link: https://mycollegepaymentplan.com/irsc/
What if I am not eligible for the Promise Program?
Students not eligible for the Promise Program should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply for IRSC Foundation Scholarships for assistance with funding.
The IRSC Promise is a last-dollar, tuition-paid program sponsored by the IRSC Foundation and funded through generous donor philanthropy and unrestricted investment proceeds. The IRSC Promise Program has no cash value.
For help contact your Student Success Coach or call us at 772-462-4772.