(WASHINGTON TIMES) – A St. Louis technical college is flush with money to help students from poor areas get a post-secondary education, but it’s having a hard time finding participants to use the funds.
Over the past year, a number of big sponsors have donated millions to different organizations to fund scholarships, internships and youth employment programs in north St. Louis County. The donations are part of the Ferguson Forward initiative set up by St. Louis-area businesses to address economic disparities in impoverished areas.
As part of the initiative, Ranken Technical College has received about $6 million, which is supposed to be doled out over five years to pay for transportation, food, books, uniforms and tuition, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
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Since the fall of 2014, Ranken has recruited just over 100 Ferguson Forward students. The college has about 2,100 students enrolled on a campus that could hold more than 5,000.
Technical colleges, also known as vocational schools, are struggling to get past the stigma that they are second-rate schools for students not good enough to get into a four-year college.