MANSFIELD, PA (WENY) -- Mansfield University announced today that First Citizens Community Bank has donated $55,000 for the Early College program, which was formerly know as the Early Start Program. Through the program Mansfield University has remained tuition free for Keystone State public high school students. 

"We are very thankful to First Citizens Community Bank for the support of the Early College Program," said Bashar W. Hanna, president of Commonwealth University in a prepared statement.

She continued, "The continued support they have provided has been vital to allow Commonwealth University-Mansfield to give students in the Northern Tier an affordable, early start to their college education."

The Early College Program is designed to allow qualified high school students to enroll in courses taught by Mansfield University faculty either in person or online instruction-and earn college credits while still in high school. According to Mansfield, support from organizations and businesses such as First Citizen, has allowed the program to be tuition free for Pennsylvania public school students since Fall 2021.

"Giving back in this way can have powerful and far-reaching impacts on students and our communities, creating a more equitable and prosperous future for all. We are very pleased to support a program that provides opportunities to help students achieve their academic and career goals and to support the systems of higher education in our communities," said FCCB President & CEO, Randall Black.

As it stands Mansfield University current has Concurrent Enrollment agreements in place districts throughout the Northern Tier, including Athens, Northern Tioga, Southern Tioga, Troy, and Wellsboro. Students who are able to successfully complete an Early College course are then granted automatic general acceptance for full-time enrollment at Commonwealth University.

If interested in participating in the program please visit here