WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — If you have a child getting ready to head to college you’ll want to hear this. Local colleges and universities are getting creative when it comes to attracting new students.

King’s College in Wilkes Barre is offering an incentive for students who reside in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.

According to King’s Admission’s office, the school is offering the Luzerne and Lackawanna County Education Opportunity Program, also known as the LLEO program.

It’s a new financial aid program that covers the cost of tuition and fees for local, first-time students with families who earn less than $50,000 per year.

“For LLEO program, we ask they submit an application for admission. Once they are admitted, they have to submit a free application for student aid. We use federal, state, and institutional funds to help fund the program,” Chris Dearth, Vice President of Enrollment Management at King’s College.

So far, about 55 students have applied to the LLEO Program here at King’s, and the college says it can enroll up to 100 students to the program by May 1.

Wilkes University is also offering financial incentives to attract new students.

At the time of admission, each student residing in Lackawanna or Luzerne Counties will be awarded a Hometown Advantage Award.

“That award ranges from $500 to $2,000 and that is dependent on whether or not students would commute or stay on campus,” said Chris Mayerski, Enrollment Management at Wilkes University.

The Hometown Advantage Award is renewable each year for up to four years with a maximum of $8,000 awarded.

The Hometown Advantage Award is stacked on top of any merit scholarship a student earns.

The merit scholarships range from $15,000 to $27,000 per year up to four years.

“A student residing in Luzerne county that’s awarded a $27,000 scholarship and resides on campus, they would get another $2,000 for residing in Luzerne county,” Mayerski continued.

Wilkes also offers a Young Scholars Program. Beginning in their junior year of high school, local students can take up to six credits per semester at Wilkes.

The cost? $50 per credit or $150 per course.

Both Kings College and Wilkes University are currently test-optional, meaning the schools do not require students to submit ACT or SAT scores to be considered for admission.

All they need to submit with an application is a high school transcript. Kings require a Grade Point Average of 2.5.