For individuals who want to go back to school but don’t know where to turn for advice, we can help, and it’s free! The Southern Appalachian Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) is a grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and does exactly what its name says—help bring educational opportunities to those who need assistance.

“Our mission is to help people work through the process and overcome whatever obstacles are in their ways to earn a college a degree,” said Cynthia Long, EOC Director. “We help with paperwork, career counseling, financial aid, whatever the client needs to help them succeed, when we try our best to provide, and all of our services are free.”

Housed on the UTC campus since 1998, the Educational Opportunity Center can help clients earn a GED, apply to an accredited college, apply for financial aid and enroll in an accredited college.  The center serves 1,000 people each year and targets low income, first-generation adults, Veterans and their families, homeless youth, youth in foster care, and other disadvantaged groups.

The center is holding two information sessions for individuals who want to come by and learn about their services:

  • June 10 at 5:30 p.m.
  • June 19 at 5:30 p.m.

Both meetings will be held in the UTC University Center.

If you are interested in learning more about the center’s services, you can also call them at (423) 425-1702 or visit their website.

Remember, all of their services are free. Some of the services that the EOC can provide:

  • Finding a GED program
  • Choosing a college
  • Career counseling
  • Completing college applications – we work with all accredited colleges!
  • Filling out the FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) to start the financial aid process.
  • Learning about Tennessee HOPE and Georgia Hope Scholarships.
  • Finding and applying for other scholarships and grants.

The Educational Opportunity Center is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and serves anyone who does not already have a four-year degree and who reside in one of the following counties:

  • Tennessee: Hamilton, Marion, Sequatchie, Bledsoe and Grundy Counties
  • Georgia: Walker, Dade, Catoosa, Whitfield, Murray and Chattooga Counties

Preference is given to those that are low-income, first generation (neither parent graduated from college with a four-year degree) and are interested in attending college.

Media Relations Contacts: Email Chuck Cantrell or call (423) 425-4363.
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