Even though research indicates the tension between students’ desires to return to campus and the economic downturn from the pandemic, Louisiana College President Dr. Rick Brewer said, “We are beyond ready to see our students again, and we know they are ready to return.”
In response to health and financial concerns, LC will offer all General Education courses online, as well as free tuition through the new Governor Jimmie Davis Scholarship. “In all my 33 years in Christian higher education leadership, I never have endured a pandemic and all the taxing challenges it has presented us. However, we are doing what we can to allay apprehensions about COVID-19 with these measures,” Brewer said.
The Jimmie Davis Scholarship is for incoming freshmen and transfer students who are TOPS recipients and PELL eligible. Applicants must have less than $1,000 Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined from the FAFSA for PELL, and the state determines whether a student is TOPS eligible.
“We are doing what we can to help close the affordability gap families are facing,” said Brewer, noting that the college will not increase tuition this academic year.
In addition to online Gen Ed courses, other online studies include a Project Management Certificate Program, which prepares students to take the Project Management Professional Certification Exam.
LC’s online Business Management and Criminal Justice degrees are designed “especially for working adults who are looking for a fast-paced format, and who may envision a career change,” Brewer said.
Predictions of an increased shortage of nurses makes the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree desirable with its 17-month completion schedule. Applicants must already have an earned and accredited bachelor’s degree. Registered Nurses with a nationally accredited associate degree or diploma may be eligible to complete the 100 percent online RN to BSN program, priced at $200 per credit hour.
Vice President for Enrollment Management Fred Holt said, “Whenever travel restrictions are lifted, we’ll begin personal campus tours. We’ll also offer financial aid counseling.” Holt expects that social distancing requirements “will change these processes some,” but will not prohibit them.
Freshmen and transfer students move into refurbished residence halls August 12. Move in day for returning students is August 15.
Louisiana College’s Commencement of May 9 has been postponed to August 8.
All continuing plans will be tempered by advisories from government leaders and health officials.
“Whatever the new normal may be, we do not intend to stop offering the quality liberal arts education built upon a biblical worldview that has typified the College since 1906. We may need to be creative to comply with whatever protective measures are announced, but we will gladly conform as we reunite this fall on the Hill in Pineville,” Brewer said.
“This hardship has created a heightened sense of anticipation for the next academic year and the return of fellowship our Louisiana College family shares. I just can’t wait,” he said.