Current Wharton County Junior College students who are fully immunized against COVID-19 may be able to collect a semester’s worth of free tuition and fees.

The college-wide lottery was approved by junior college trustees at their last session.

To enter, students from the Wharton, Richmond, Sugar Land or Bay City campuses must complete the WCJC StudentVIP form and upload a scanned copy/photo of their vaccination record as proof of immunization.

Fully-vaccinated WCJC employees are eligible to enter a different prize drawing for a $300 gift card after uploading their immunization record.

WCJC told the Wharton newspaper that 50 students and 50 employees will receive prizes via $115,000 in American Rescue Plan institution funding.

Work Study Changes: WCJC campus work study students will receive a pay increase following trustee approval from $7.25 per hour to $10 starting in the fall.

The $7.25 rate had been paid for the past 12 years.

“The stagnation of the hourly wage has created issues with recruitment and retention of students in work study positions, as the wage no longer aligns with the pay rate offered at comparable jobs in the community or with work-study pay rates at area colleges,” Financial Aid Director Leslie Kolojaco said, adding program funding is based on participation.

Work-study students cannot work more than 19 hours per week.

Adult literacy: State and federal grant funds from the Houston-Galveston Area Council will help the Adult Education and Literacy program continue.

The program, which is accepting students, offers services in English as a Second Language, High School Equivalency, civic education, workforce training and more withing the H-GAC service area (Wharton Austin, Colorado, Fort Bend, Matagorda and Waller counties).

AEL classes are offered online and in-person and are free of charge. However, one must attend an orientation and take pre-tests. For more information, call 979-532-6301 or email aelregister@wcjc.edu.

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