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Open yourself to a brighter future through the Opportunity Programs at FM

Everyone can agree this year will be one all of us will remember. Unfortunately, many of these memories may not be pleasant ones. We have all been facing a myriad of challenges this year and may feel that opportunities have been few.

Are you looking for ways to pivot from the challenges in your life and find opportunity for a bright future as we close the books on 2020? The Opportunity Programs at Fulton Montgomery Community College are here to assist you on that journey.

You may be wondering what exactly is meant by the phrase “opportunity program?”

Generally, college opportunity programs assist students who meet various program qualifications.

The programs assist these “qualified students” with various supports necessary for success in college.

Sometimes erroneously thought to be “affirmative action” programs only serving students of a certain race or ethnicity, in fact very few programs limit participation to minorities.

The overwhelming majority of programs serve all students (regardless of race/ethnicity) who fall into designated family size and income levels.

This usually includes those students who qualify for Federal Pell Grants and/or the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Additional requirements include being a student whose parents do not have a four year college degree (also known as “first generation” students).

Students with disabilities and those students who are enrolled in specific degree programs may also be qualifications for entry into opportunity programs.

Now, you may be wondering, exactly what sort of “opportunity” is provided to students through these programs?

You also may wonder, isn’t the economic support from Pell and TAP monies enough? Why do these students need more support? If you consider a college education to be a journey of sorts, it may help you understand the reason for opportunity programs.

The journey through college is complicated; you have to choose a degree program, understand what courses are necessary to complete it, complete complicated financial aid forms and earn high enough grades in your courses to accumulate the necessary number of credits to complete your degree.

If you have family or friends who have completed this journey before, they can provide you with necessary landmarks and advice along the way.

Without friends or family to guide you the journey can be arduous. A mistaken twist (choosing the wrong class for your degree program) or turn (withdrawing from or failing a course required for graduation) can make your journey considerably longer and more expensive. It might even cause you to go fully “off course” and stop your journey before you complete it. Opportunity programs provide that important advice and guidance needed to complete the journey to a college degree.

Opportunity programs at FM provide a wide array of resources to their participants.

These include individual academic plans tailored for each student’s degree and career interests; drop-in and one-to-one tutoring for academic success; assistance with completion of financial aid and scholarship applications; guidance with planning transfer to a four-year college, a comprehensive, online summer program that fully prepares students to enter college prepared for success; and most importantly, people to lean on when the journey gets tough and you think you can’t go on.

All services are free and personalized for each student.

Thinking that you might be ready to take that first step to turning the challenges of 2020 into opportunities for a brighter future?

Apply to FM today through our free, online application. When accepted be sure to ask your Admissions Representative about our opportunity programs. We can’t wait to meet you and help you find that bright future through earning your college degree.

This article was written by Jean Karutis, director of opportunity programs at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

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