New program provides financial assistance to students at BMCC
BAY MILLS — With spring enrollment now in full swing at Bay Mills Community College, there is no better time to start thinking about furthering your education. And if you have concerns about paying for tuition, you should know there are many opportunities for assistance available-including WOCTEP— Waganakising Odawa Career and Technical Education Program. BMCC began participating in the program earlier this year. WOCTEP provides support for the following associate’s degree and certificate programs at Bay Mills Community College:
Medical Office, certificate program
Business Administration, associate degree (including online program)
Construction Technology, associate degree
Early Childhood Education, associate degree (including online program)
Computer Information Systems, associate of applied science degree
Office Administration, associate of applied science degree (including online program)
WOCTEP is funded, in part, by the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Native American Career and Technical Education Program, but is open to tribal and non-tribal members. Any student at BMCC can apply for assistance. WOCTEP assistance to students comes in many forms — not just tuition. Those eligible may receive stipends for attending class, and financial assistance with, mileage, book expenses, and certification/credential testing fee reimbursement. Any student in the above named programs can apply for WOCTEP.
To be eligible for the program, students can pick up an application at BMCC and provide information about their income level and household size, similar to the traditional financial aid process. Student information will be sent to the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, which administers the program and handles applications. Students who have exhausted other forms of financial aid, including the Pell grant, may also be eligible. For full degree information and an application, you can visit https://www.ltbbodawa-nsn.gov/EDU/WOCTEP.html
For BMCC alumna LaTara LeBlanc, WOCTEP helped her finish her degree and move forward with her bachelor’s program. “With one semester to go I had received a notice that I was out of financial aid and would need to cover the fees, books, and any other cost my Board of Regents tuition award did not cover,” said LeBlanc. “After talking with Stephanie LeBlanc at BMCC and expressing concerns about having to come up with the money, she suggested the WOCTEP program. This turned out to be an excellent suggestion, for had this not been done, I’m sure I would not have graduated on May 17.”
LaTara LeBlanc is now studying for her bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Michigan-Flint.
For Native students, another option is BMCC’s in-house tuition award. As a tribally controlled institution of higher education, BMCC also waives tuition costs for individuals who are members of U.S. federally recognized tribes, though some fees may still apply. The Board of Regents Tuition Award allows Native students to take courses on-campus or on-line without having to worry about the cost of earning their degree.
Enrollment is currently open for the spring semester at BMCC. For more information about programs offered and to view the current schedule, visit www.bmcc.edu.