FSU Panama City to offer free tuition to Florida students with family incomes of $50,000 or less

Becky Kelly

Florida State University Panama City announced a new scholarship program today that will provide tuition free education for qualified Northwest Florida students with combined family and student income of $50,000 or less or are eligible for Pell Grants.

The FSU PC Promise Scholarship will take effect spring 2021 and will guarantee that full-time resident undergraduates whose families have an adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less will not pay tuition and fees. The new scholarship will apply to new, returning and transfer students.

“We talk a lot about the FSU PC Promise and our commitment to student success,” Florida State University Panama City Dean Randy Hanna said. “With the generous help of our community donors and the support of President Thrasher and Provost McRorie, we have made the PC promise that much more powerful. It has always been our belief that financial need should never be a deterrent to higher education.”

The lead donor to this scholarship program, the Chapman Family Foundation, shares the same belief regarding access to education.

“The Chapman Family Foundation is proud to partner with Florida State University Panama City to provide Promise Scholarships to deserving students in our community,” said Kristian Chapman of the Chapman Family Foundation. “For almost 30 years, the foundation has contributed to local education initiatives for the betterment and development of our most precious resource, our youth. As the great equalizer in our country, education is powerful, and we are honored to provide the resources needed to develop local students who will shape and grow the community in the future.”

Gifts from the Chapman Family Foundation, the St. Joe Community Foundation, Larry and Pam Perry and an anonymous donor have established the foundation for this scholarship program.

“This is a wonderful example of how the people of this community have come together to support our Panama City campus,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “These are challenging times for a lot of folks in this area who are still suffering economic hardships caused by Hurricanes Michael and Sally and as a result of the global pandemic. The PC Promise Scholarship will ease the financial burden for those who want to transform their lives through higher education.”

Hanna noted the direct connection between income restrictions and the ability of students to receive postsecondary education.

“With the FSU PC Promise Scholarship, we are telling students to focus on their academic pursuits and not to worry about their tuition,” he said.

This scholarship fund will provide support to students who have lived for four years in the Northwest Florida counties of Bay, Gulf, Liberty, Gadsden, Jackson, Calhoun, Franklin, Washington, Holmes, Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia and are pursuing a degree at Florida State University Panama City.

Eligible students must enroll in at least 12 hours per semester and have a valid free federal application for financial aid (FASFA) on file at the time of application. It is expected that students with a combined personal and family adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less or who are eligible for Pell Grants will qualify for the scholarship. The scholarship will cover tuition and fees after other federal state, and institutional benefits.

It is initially expected that approximately 300 students could eventually benefit annually from the scholarship.

“Now more than ever, access and degree attainment are critical to the economic development of our communities,” Hanna said. “Our hope is that this scholarship will inspire students and their families to pursue their educational goals at a preeminent Florida institution.”

To maintain eligibility be in good academic standing with the university and engage in 30 hours of community service per semester. The scholarship will be available up to 120 cumulative credit hours or the number of hours required for the academic program.

For more information, call (850) 770-2160 or email admissions@pc.fsu.edu.  Additional information can be found at pc.fsu.edu.