FloridaTrend.com, the Website for Florida Business

It's Not Too Late to Finish Your Degree

Finish Up, Florida! Gets Students across the finish line to graduation.

In Florida, there are thousands of former state and community college students who left school without finishing their degree. If you’re one of them, listen up. There are special programs to help you finish up.

The Florida College System’s Finish Up, Florida! program was set up to reconnect with students who stopped or dropped out of college before completing their degree. A special website guides you through the five main steps of re-enrolling. While these are the main steps, you don’t have to go in order or complete them all. Start with the most appropriate step for you or start from the beginning. The last step — applying for re-admission or admission — is the goal!

Visit the Florida Virtual Campus website
and click "Degree Completion Program

Whether you stopped because you lost financial aid, got overwhelmed with other commitments or maybe you just weren’t sure about the benefits of completing college, now’s your opportunity to move past that.

Contact your local Florida state college campus and see if you qualify for assistance.

"All of our students should be afforded opportunities to complete their degrees. Project Win-Win has allowed our colleges to reach thousands of students and help them attain degrees."

– Florida College System Chancellor Randy Hanna



Project Win-Win finds former state college students to retroactively award them their associate degree or re-enroll them.

As part of an initiative in nine states, three state colleges in Florida — Broward College, Indian River State College and St. Johns River State College — mailed letters to students who had dropped out before earning their degrees to encourage them to finish up. Since the program started in 2010, the three colleges have graduated an additional 1,500 students and re-enrolled nearly 850 former students. Meka Burgess and Kimberly Nelson are just two of the students who took advantage of Project Win-Win to take their careers in a new direction.

Project Win-Win Profiles

An extended illness interrupted Meka Burgess’ plans to complete her associate degree in 2000. Her health issues continued for several years, but by 2010 she was in remission and trying to make plans for her future when she received a letter from Broward College telling her about a new opportunity.

"I was so excited and grateful. I applied, had an interview and was chosen to participate. It has made a huge difference in my future. Besides the health issues, it was so discouraging to try to go back with only being able to afford one class a semester. The Win-Win program has filled that gap, and now I am on track to complete my associate in December and begin working toward my bachelor’s degree in elementary education.” — Meka Burgess


As a single mom with a full-time job, Kimberly Nelson made the tough choice to quit community college in 1994 to support her family. After 17 years working as a dispatcher, she was laid off in 2012.

“I always knew I wanted to go back to school, I just didn’t know when,” says Kimberly. “Getting laid off was the push that let me know when was right then!”

Kimberly returned to Broward College, where she had been enrolled nearly 20 years earlier. She met with a counselor to inquire about financial aid and found out about the Win-Win program. She submitted an application, wrote an essay about why she had left school and what she hoped to accomplish by completing her degree. She was chosen to receive a scholarship, which covered more than 80% of her expenses.

Kimberly completed her associate degree in business administration less than two years after re-enrolling at Broward College. She has been accepted to continue her studies for a bachelor’s degree in education.

"I wanted to finish college for my children as much as for myself. It’s also a great way to show them how important it is to finish what you start ... even if it takes a while.” — Kimberly Nelson