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Welcome to the Educational Opportunity Center

Gulf Coast State College's Educational Opportunity Center is a federal TRiO grant program that assists low-income and first-generation participants with enrolling or staying enrolled in higher education.


The Educational Opportunity Center at Gulf Coast State College strives to provide Bay, Gulf, and Franklin county residents with the financial, academic, admissions, and economic literacy assistance they need to enroll, or remain enrolled, in postsecondary education.


GCSC was awarded a Fiscal Year 2021 Educational Opportunity Center grant on August 25th, 2021. That award (P066A210096) runs from 09/01/2021 till 08/31/2026 and is budgeted to receive approximately $272,753.00 annually. Please note, too, that the Educational Opportunity Center’s program costs are 100% financed by federal money and all services are provided free of charge to participants.


  • First-Generation, i.e., whether your supporting parent(s) earned a four-year bachelor's degree
  • Low-Income, based on federal guidelines
  • Other federal criteria, such as being a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible non-citizen
  • Desire to enter or continue a program of post-secondary education, which includes public or private:
    • Colleges
    • Universities
    • Technical Schools
    • Vocational Schools
  • Adults (19 years of age or older)
  • Anyone less than 19 years of age who is not being served by a Talent Search project
  • Veterans
  • Individuals who were in foster care  after reaching age 13
  • Those who are homeless  or at-risk of homelessness


 As a participant, the Educational Opportunity Center offers you assistance with:

  • Information on educational institutions across the United States
  • Completion of college or vocational/technical admissions applications
  • Advice on establishing residency for tuition & fee purposes
  • Application Fees, i.e., we can  pay or waive on your behalf
  • Transferring to an upper-level college or university
  • Explanation of the financial aid process
  • Completing and filing financial aid forms, such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Information about how to apply for a college work-study position
  • Ad-hoc  tutoring (at SUW 82) on various subjects, such as:
    • Mathematics
    • English/Language Arts
    • Civics/Social Studies
    • Science



Image of Lisa Fritch Lisa Fritch, Assistant Director
(850) 769-1551 ext. 4074; 
Image of Nicci McEwen Nicci McEwen, Educational Resource Advisor
(850) 769-1551 ext. 4073; 
Image of Sierra Watson Sierra Watson, Educational Resource Advisor
(850) 769-1551 ext. 5813; 
Image of Cooper Clark Cooper Clark, GED Tutor
(850) 769-1551 ext. 4075; 
Image of Katina Posada Karina Posada, English Language Learning (ELL) Tutor
(850) 769-1551 ext. 4075;

“The contents of GCSC’s TRiO webpages, along with any printed publication materials (e.g., books, reports, or films) we separately disseminate, were developed under grants provided by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). However, those contents do not necessarily represent ED policy, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.”

Gulf Coast State College does not discriminate against any person in its programs, activities, policies or procedures on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, national origin, marital status, religion, age, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. All questions or inquiries regarding compliance with laws relating to non-discrimination and all complaints regarding sexual misconduct or discrimination, may be directed to Lee Wood, Executive Director, Human Resources/Title II/504/Title IX Coordinator and Employment Equity Officer, Gulf Coast State College, 5230 W. US Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401.