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Computer science grad went from here to James Madison minus any debt

Kaleb Beasley achieved a 4.0 at Grassfield High School and was accepted into James Madison University.

He made what he considered, a smart choice. He completed his first two years at Tidewater Community College, earning an Associate of Science in Science with a Specialization in Computer Science in 2012.

That allowed him to complete all of his general education requirements at TCC and transfer to JMU as a junior. He finished up his bachelor’s in computer science in 2014 and today works as a cybersecurity analyst for Dollar Tree, Inc.

Beasley accrued no debt, receiving an Outstanding High School Graduate Scholarship from TCC, where he was also a student ambassador. He also received significant financial aid. That combination, along with working part time in a computer repair shop while at the college, allowed him to save for JMU, where his loans were minimal.

“It was a good path to follow,” he said. “I feel like TCC gave me a head start because I don’t have much debt.”

The class size and personable professors appealed to Beasley on the Chesapeake Campus – history professor David Kiracofe was a favorite – and when it was time to transfer, he found it easy.

“The process was a lot smoother than people who transferred in from other colleges,” he said. “At JMU, there was an orientation for everyone who transferred from Virginia Community Colleges, and that made it easy.”

Beasley immediately got a job at Newport News Shipbuilding after graduating from JMU and six months ago moved to Dollar Tree.

He recommends TCC to other high achieving high school students, particularly when finances play a factor.

“I was very fortunate,” he said. “Take advantage of TCC. I’ve seen success stories, and I’m one of them.”

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