Free college tuition for education and training that leads to high wage, high demand careers? It might sound too good to be true, but it’s for real, as 418 Elizabethtown Community and Technical College students, not including dual credit students, have learned first-hand.

In the first two years since the introduction of the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, the program has disbursed almost $1,162,000 to pay for the tuition of those ECTC students.

With the scho­larship, residents who haven’t already earned a college degree can be eligible for free tuition in five high demand careers fields: Health care, advanced manufacturing, transportation/logistics, business/IT, and construction/trades. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College offers programs in all five careers fields, and the Work Ready Scholarship pays for certificates, diplomas and degrees that can lead to a better life.

Industrial maintenance, electrical technology and business administration are the most popular programs paid for by Work Ready at ECTC.

Introduced in 2017, the scholarship has since expanded to include high school students interested in pursuing careers in the five high-demand sectors. Kentucky’s Dual Credit Scholarship Program covers the cost of two dual credit courses for high school students. Now with the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, depending on students’ course of study, they can earn up to 30 credit hours of dual credit with tuition and fees covered by state scholarship programs.

The scholarship also can be used by adults without a high school diploma who wish to pursue their career certification or associate of applied science degree while earning a GED through GED+ with SkillsU.

Kentucky employers struggle to find enough people to fill positions in high-demand fields. With no age or income limitations, the expansion of the Work Ready Scholarship will empower even more students and adults to pursue their dreams. This will go a long way in helping prepare Kentuckians for the more than 160,000 open jobs in the state, the majority of which require training and education beyond a high school diploma.

Students will complete an ECTC application, the KHEAA application and FAFSA to determine eligibility for the Work Ready Scholarship.

For more information on the Work Ready Scholarship, contact Eliz­abethtown Community and Technical College at 270-769-2371 or go to the Work Ready Kentucky website at