Tuition covered, but challenges remain, for students in MATC’s ‘Promise’ program

Nico Savidge:

Ten days before the start of classes, and nearing the end of a weeklong course meant to prepare them for the fall semester, the members of Team Orange walked one by one to the front of a classroom at Madison Area Technical College and told their peers how ready they were for their freshman year.

The class included 17 of the 210 new MATC students who make up the first cohort of the school’s Scholars of Promise program, which provides scholarships and support services to help low-income students both afford and succeed in higher education.

“College isn’t as scary as everyone’s made it seem,” Zach Smith-Clark said to his classmates in the Learning to Learn course. “It’s something I can accomplish.”

That’s the sort of confidence MATC officials want the Scholars of Promise to have as they start classes on Monday.