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Community college now free for every MHC graduate thanks to Harvest grant

MARTINSVILLE, VA – A new investment has made community college possible for every high school graduate in Martinsville and Henry County over the next 13 years.

A $10.3 million grant to Patrick & Henry Community College to support the Student Excellence in Education SEED Fund was announced Thursday by The Harvest Foundation.

The SEED Fund, which ensures a college education at no cost to every high school graduate in our area, was established in 2017 as a three-year pilot program.

“For many students, the desire to attend college is there, they just need reassurance that it is possible and within their reach,” said Harvest Foundation President Kate Keller. “The SEED Fund gives them that reassurance and hope.”

According to P&HCC President Dr. Greg Hodges, this is the largest investment in history at the community college.

“Starting today, the question of ‘can I afford to go to college’ will never again be asked by a school-age student in Martinsville-Henry County,” Hodges said. “As of this moment, the financial barrier of attending college has been removed for an entire generation.”

A Dogwood tree was planted outside West Hall to commemorate this commitment.

“We hope when these kindergartners grow up and become SEED students, they will visit this very spot and reflect on their educational journeys, and dream about their futures,” Keller said.

Students are eligible immediately following graduation from high school, completing a GED program (high-school age population only), or a homeschool program.

Once an application to the fall semester at P&HCC is completed, an application to the SEED Fund must be completed on time.

To qualify for the SEED Fund, a high school graduate must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5.

They must be a resident of Martinsville-Henry County and have in-state residency status at the time of the award.

SEED students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year, and complete eight hours of community service prior to July 31 for each year of participation.

To find out more about the SEED Fund, click here.

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