RAYMOND – Eligible high school seniors in five counties may take advantage of a new scholarship program at Hinds Community College for 2015-16.

The Valedictorian and Salutatorian Scholarship offers full tuition to first-time college freshmen who have earned diplomas from accredited high schools in Hinds, Rankin, Warren, Claiborne or Copiah counties. It covers full-time tuition for four consecutive fall and spring semesters. Applications for the new scholarship program are being accepted up until the first day of school Aug. 17, said Kathryn Cole, director of Enrollment Services.

“We are proud to recognize the achievements of valedictorians and salutatorians in our college district by offering eligible high school graduates a full tuition scholarship at Hinds for ranking at the top of their class,” Cole said.

Applicants for the scholarship must provide an official high school transcript verifying class rank. Also, they must enroll in at least 15 credit hours by the end of the drop/add period for the 16-week term. To maintain the scholarship, students must complete 12 or more credit hours during the semester in which they are receiving the funds and pull a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Eligibility also applies to freshmen who attend summer school prior to enrolling at Hinds CC as a full-time student and who participate in dual enrollment/dual credit classes before receiving a high school diploma.

Students may receive the scholarship in addition to other awards, such as the ACT scholarship, Hinds Foundation scholarship and more, Cole said.

Recipients of the funds must also abide by the Hinds Community College Scholarship Policies.

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