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Rhonda Castleberry, an aviation program specialist with Madisonville Community College, works at her new desk after using the Kentucky Work Ready Scholarship to help her get a promotion at work.

Madisonville Community College is making a college education more accessible with Work Ready Scholarships.

MCC began offering the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship in 2017, which offers up to 60 hours of free tuition to anyone who has not earned an associate’s degree.

“The Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship is a statewide scholarship for high-wage, high-demand academic programs where eligible students can have their unmet tuition be paid,” said Aimee Wilkerson, dean of enrollment management at the college.

To be eligible for the scholarship students must be a Kentucky resident, a high school graduate or working on their GED, cannot have an associates degree and they have to be enrolled in an eligible program.

Eligible programs include health care, manufacturing, business and IT, construction and skilled trades and transportation and logistics. There are currently 350 courses available at Madisonville Community College in these programs.

“This is a perfect opportunity for someone to earn not only a degree, but maybe earn some additional certification that is going to help them grow or move further in their career,” said Wilkerson. “The scholarship is very easy to apply for. Once a student completes the FAFSA they go on to complete the scholarship application.”

Wilkerson added the application is short with less than 10 questions to answer.

The scholarship will pay any tuition cost not covered by financial aid or other scholarships, said Wilkerson. If a student does not receive any financial aid or scholarships, then the Work Ready Scholarship can cover everything.

“Everyone’s Work Ready award is different,” she said. “Everyone’s amount is different because everyone receives a different amount of aid or scholarships.”

The Work Ready scholarship is also encouraged for high school seniors who don’t qualify for aid and for adult learners who are in the workplace who don’t qualify for aid or employer paid tuition reimbursement, according to Wilkerson.

Rhonda Castleberry, an aviation program specialist at the college, applied for the scholarship in August 2019 when she enrolled for a business administration degree.

“It is a great scholarship for adults my age that are wanting to go back to school to earn their degree,” said Castleberry.

Castleberry originally worked in the Workforce Solutions Department at the college, but because she is back in school, she was able to get a promotion. She will finish her degree in May 2021. All of her tuition is paid for and she only has to pay for her books.

“This makes a college educations much more accessible to any student,” said Castleberry. “Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back.”

For more information, contact MCC Financial Aid Office, at 270-824-8598. To register for classes or ask about qualifying degrees, contact the Enrollment Center, at 270-824-8657. To apply for the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, visit

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