21Jun College Loan Debt Worries? Not For These Students and Parents by Wendy Weichenthal While many high school students are dreading the question, “What are you going to do after graduation?”, one local student has her high school and college degrees in the bag. Jennafer Kibler of Marion received her Associate of Applied Science in Human and Social Services from Marion Technical College for free through the College Credit Plus program. “MTC was a great school. I loved everything about it there. The faculty were great,” Kibler stated. Professor Sam Wolfe and Jennafer Kibler at graduation. Kibler, a homeschooled student, watched her sister, Bethany, earn college credit at MTC before graduating from high school and followed in her footsteps. In these days where many parents are worried about student loan debt, Jennafer’s parents were ecstatic at her degree without debt. “We saved $20,000-$40,000!” exclaimed Jennafer’s mother, Lora Kibler of Crawford County. “A relative went to a private Ohio college for a year and ended with $20,000 in debt. I think this is a great program.” Kibler said both of her daughters felt at home at MTC. “We loved the teachers. The advisors made sure the credits transferred to other colleges.” Bethany Kibler transferred and completed her bachelor’s degree. Jennafer plans to do so as well. “I’m so proud. She’s worked hard. She’s very independent, very hands-on, and very organized,” Lora Kibler shared. Jennafer Kibler, right, helps at a campus event. Rev. Shawn Jackson from OSU at Marion is left. Jennafer is one of three high school students who graduated with their associate’s degrees from MTC this spring before they graduated from high school. In addition, more than 800 area high school students earned 10,000 credit hours at MTC. Thousands of area high school students have come to MTC through the College Credit Plus program and saved millions in tuition, books, and fees. Here is a look at how many students took part in the past school year, the number of credits they earned, and how much tuition they saved: High School Students Credits Tuition saved Pleasant 151 1,976 $335,920 Highland 94 1,180 $200,600 Harding 133 968 $164,560 Upper Sandusky 70 802 $136,340 North Union 79 787 $133,790 River Valley 58 540 $91,800 Northmor 37 445 $75,650 Mt. Gilead 53 436 $74,120 Cardington 41 430 $73,100 Riverdale 52 349 $59,330 Elgin 54 338 $57,460 Ridgedale 31 290 $49,300 Wynford 21 253 $43,010 Bucyrus 32 186 $31,620 Delaware Hayes 17 181 $30,770 Tri-Rivers 20 148 $25,160 “Marion should be so proud of the students who are working hard to get ahead from a young age,” said Tiffany Wade, Director of the College Credit Plus Program. “These students get a head start on life, their goals, and their careers without being burdened by student loans.” Tiffany Wade, Director of the College Credit Plus Program The knowledge and tuition saved aren’t the only benefits to participating in the College Credit Plus program. “Teens who can do college level work are more likely to graduate from college. They already have the skills they need to succeed.” Ryan McCall, President of MTC. MTC faculty teach college courses in area high schools, on the Marion Campus and online. Those interested in learning more about the program can call (740) 389-4636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.