HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WVEC) -- Are you planning to get a degree in a STEM field? Tidewater Community College would like to make that journey a bit easier on your pocket.

TCC will be awarding scholarships to 10 students pursuing degrees in STEM which will cover 100 percent of their tuition and fees.

The TCC Women's Center STEM Promise Program was designed to boost the number of women and minorities graduating with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It will begin with the 2017-2018 school year.

Though the Promise Program was designed by the TCC Women's Center, anyone can apply for the scholarship, regardless of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, political affiliation, genetics, or disability.

10 high-performing students will be awarded during the first year, however, when the program is fully implemented, up to 30 students will receive the free tuition.

"This is a really big deal for TCC and for the Commonwealth of Virginia," said Governor Terry McAuliffe while announcing the program Monday. "We are sending a very strong message to employers around the globe that we are open for business but most importantly, we are making sure women get into these STEM fields.

Gov. McAuliffe went on to call TCC "the greatest community college in the United States of America."

"TCC is not just making a promise," said TCC President Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani. "We're making a commitment."

The scholarships will be funded by a bequest in 2011 from the estate of Alexsandira Manrov of Norfolk. It will honor her late daughter Dr. Alexsandria Manrov, who taught science at TCC for many years before dying in 1997 at 54-years-old.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must:

  • be eligible for in-state tuition
  • have a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher; and
  • place into College Composition (English 111) and College Algebra (Math 158) or higher.

Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time student in one of the following programs:

  • Associate of Science in Engineering
  • Associate of Science with Specialization in Computer Science
  • Associate of Applied Science in Civil Engineering Technology
  • Associate of Applied Science in Electronics Technology
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems Technology
  • Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology

Many of the degrees will transfer to other programs at four-year colleges. Students who wish to transfer may be eligible for the Two-Year Transfer Grant from Virginia's Community Colleges. That grant provides $3,000 a year for STEM students who transfer to certain Virginia public universities.

Applications for the 2017-2018 school year will be accepted until June 15.

For more information, visit the TCC website or contact the TCC Educational Foundation at (757) 822-1111.