AUSTIN, Minn. – High school graduates in Austin will have the chance to attend Riverland Community College for free.
The Hormel Foundation announced a new scholarship program at its regular meeting on Wednesday. It will be offering a two-year free scholarship, along with some money for books, to every graduating senior at Austin High School and Pacelli High School. Foundation President Gary Ray says they’ve been working on this project for three years and see it as a way to set Austin apart from other communities in Minnesota and across the nation.
Ray says if a student attends high school in Austin from 9th through 12th grade, they will be eligible for the free scholarship. If a student starts attending after 9th grade, Ray says they can still get the scholarship but it will be pro-rated depending on how long they attended school in Austin.
The scholarship program will start in 2019 and Ray says they expect it to be a big expense but don’t know exactly how much because that cost will depend on how many students take advantage of this opportunity. He says there could be well over 100 students attending Riverland for free because of this.
Supporting education is one of the three main focuses of the Hormel Foundation, along with science and community organizations.