Prince Williams, a recent graduate of Duplin County Early College and James Sprunt Community College received a full academic scholarship to attend Harvard University and plans to major in either Political Science or Economics.

“My tuition, room, and board total were $74,528 and all are covered,” said Williams. “I received $77,028!”

Williams began his relationship with JSCC in the eighth grade when he decided to join the early college.

“I just wanted something different and challenging,” said Williams. “It’s a great experience to get a college education while simultaneously getting a high school one.”

Williams looks back on his experience with the early college fondly by explaining that the small class size and the teacher-to-student ratio make any trade-off of the high school experience “completely worth it.”

Williams described the past four years of his life with the JSCC family to be one of intimate support and growth.

The early college experience gives students a fantastic opportunity to increase their likelihood of getting into a college, coverage of the cost of attending JSCC, and even having their textbooks paid throughout the experience. Most students leave the early college experience with an associate’s degree, like Williams, who obtained an Associates of Arts.

Williams also used his time as a community college student to explore his interests. It was through an American Government class that Williams uncovered his love for politics.

In terms of support, the intimate network of a high school counselor and a college counselor willing to answer any questions at any time provided Williams with the encouragement he needed to begin his journey with higher education. JSCC counselors connected Williams to the National Beta Club organization, where he experienced much success and leadership experience. “I did not have a ‘safe school’ in terms of applications.” Williams attributes much of his confidence to apply to Harvard and other ambitious institutions from the knowledge JSCC provided him.

Williams expressed only one regret- not getting engaged in all the extracurricular activities that JSCC provides students.

“There is always room for students to do something!” Williams fondly reflects when Sprunt students visited his elementary school when he was younger. Williams points out the value of extracurricular activities and volunteer work in resume and application building. JSCC provides many opportunities for students to engage in the college experience while still living in and serving their local community.

Unlike many students attending Harvard next fall, Prince Williams’s educational journey began at a community college. This is a unique aspect of Williams’s story that will undoubtedly set him apart from his peers. Williams addresses that the misconception about students who attend community college is that they were somehow unable to obtain access to a four-year school.

“That isn’t the case at all! JSCC is more affordable than any university. The courses I chose to take here showed me what I liked without financial strain.”

Williams highlights that the community college experience gives students a little more time to decide what higher education will look like without a substantial financial commitment. JSCC also offers a free application that is unique in comparison to most college experiences.