In about six months, area high school students will graduate and move on to college or jobs. But the East Valley Institute of Technology offers them another opportunity — and for some, it might even be tuition-free.
EVIT is a public school that provides tuition-free career training to high school students and tuition-based training to adults at two central campuses in Mesa and a branch campus at Apache Junction High School, according to a release.
“The idea of going straight into the workforce without a valuable trade seemed quite daunting, as was the time-consuming and expensive nature of traditional colleges,” Ellie Negreros, 18, an adult student in EVIT’s graphic design program, said in the release. “I needed to find a program that would prepare me for the working world … I found that and more in EVIT’s adult education.”
Thanks to recent legislation, many of this year’s high school seniors could come to EVIT next year as adult students — without paying tuition — to train for careers in construction, health care, automotive and more. In addition, financial aid is available in most of EVIT’s tuition-based adult programs for those who qualify.
“EVIT is as much an option for graduating high school seniors as going to a community college or a university – and in many cases, they won’t have to pay tuition,” Superintendent Dr. Chad Wilson said in the release. “If you are an East Valley parent of a senior who doesn’t know what they want to do, I would urge you to check out what EVIT has to offer.”
While they are in high school, students who reside in 11 East Valley school districts can enroll in a career training program at an EVIT central campus. They also have the option of enrolling in career and technical education programs at their high school.
Under a new state “fourth-year funding” law, they can also attend EVIT in an “in-demand” industry program — and pay no tuition — after they graduate high school if they have not already had four years of CTE in high school.
EVIT offers 18 programs qualifying as in-demand in Maricopa and Pinal counties, including diesel and engineering. View the full list at azed.gov/cte/cted
For students who were never able to fit EVIT into their high school schedule, this is a way to still reap the benefits of quality tuition-free career training. It also means that families need to carefully plan high school schedules.
“If you think you will want to attend EVIT after high school, then you want to make sure you don’t use up all four years of your CTE funding while you are in high school,” Wilson said.
Through career technical education district completion grants, graduating seniors may also attend EVIT next year tuition-free. Students qualify if they have completed half of their program.
Negreros returned to EVIT on a completer grant.
Both affordable and flexible, this program showed me that your academic career does not have to end in high school, but that there are endless opportunities for those who still have a desire to learn,” she said.
EVIT also offers 12 tuition-based programs for adults, including practical nursing and surgical technology. For a list, go to evit.com/adult_career_training_programs. Affordable payment plans and financial aid are options for paying tuition.
In 2023-24, EVIT will begin offering associate degrees, starting in health care.
“With the addition of these funding opportunities for high school graduates and associate degrees, EVIT is offering a full-range of career education options for our East Valley community,” Wilson said.
Enrollment for 2023-24 is under way. To start the process, go to: evit.com/enrollnow.