OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — On Monday night, Osceola County commissioners unanimously voted to approve funding to continue their Osceola Prosper Program, a free college tuition initiative for high school graduates in Osceola County.

What You Need To Know

  • Osceola County commissioners unanimously voted to approve continued funding for Osceola Prosper

  • More than $29 million has been invested in the scholarship initiative

  • The tuition-free program is entering its third year

Approval from the commissioners allows the chair and vice chair of Osceola’s County Board of Commission to sign the Prosper III program, which would provide $8.3 million in funding for all 2024 graduates of Osceola County high schools, so they can enroll at Valencia College or Osceola Technical College. Recipients have up to five years to complete their desired studies.

“We’ve invested over $29 million, and basically, it's for every graduating senior here in Osceola County,” said chairperson Cheryl Grieb, who represents District 4. “It doesn’t matter if they’re in public school, private school, home school. Anyone that's graduating in Osceola County can take advantage of this particular program.”

Osceola Prosper, which is entering its third year, has provided scholarships for roughly 5,000 graduates in the area, and it increased Valencia’s College enrollment nearly 20% between 2021 and 2022.

“We’re enabling kids that have never, or wouldn't have had that opportunity otherwise, to go to college or get some type of certificate because of financial restraints in their family,” Grieb said.

Grieb described the program as an investment into the county that would create jobs and train aspiring workers to enter the workforce in Osceola County rather than leaving the area and studying elsewhere to pursue a career.

In 2023, 2,500 students took advantage of the program, up from 2,300 in 2022, according to Osceola County's website. Those numbers represent about half of each year's graduating class.