Program Provides Systemwide Support to Disadvantaged Students Facing Financial Emergencies
Madison, Wis. — Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (Great Lakes) has announced the awarding of grants to the 16 colleges of the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). The grants will allow each college to establish and help manage a campus-based program that provides students in need with money to address the unexpected expenses that can cause these students to drop out. The grants—up to $140,000 per college, based on enrollment—are made available through Great Lakes' philanthropic Community Investments program.
The funding will be available to students who are eligible for Federal Pell Grants—those who have a significant demonstrated financial need. Through the program, Pell-eligible students can apply to receive small grants averaging around $200 to cover urgent, unforeseen expenses. Great Lakes' goal is to help these students remain in, and complete, college and realize the many benefits completion brings to students and their families. The $1.9 million, three-year initiative is also intended to determine the effectiveness of emergency grant assistance on student retention and graduation.
"We know that any unexpected cost—whether it's a bill for car repair, daycare, or dental work—can loom large for disadvantaged students. Great Lakes is therefore pleased to provide this support," said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and Affiliates. "We look forward to working with Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges as they track the impact this program has for their neediest students. Our hope is to produce measurable results that make a strong case for its effectiveness."
"These grants tie in nicely with Milwaukee Area Technical College's commitment to the Completion Challenge," said Christine McGee, MATC's Director of Fundraising and Development. "Supporting students who are dedicated to reaching this milestone is essential."
Great Lakes has partnered with Scholarship America® Dreamkeepers® to customize its emergency grant assistance program for the unique needs of the state's technical college students. The funding Great Lakes will provide to each college will minimize program costs over the three-year period, and will cover 100 percent of the Dreamkeepers administration fees and funding for emergency grants to students.