The Men's and Women's Centers at Lakeland Community College have been awarded a $39,700 Dash grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. The Lakeland Foundation also will contribute $13,000.
The funds facilitate emergency grants up to $500 each to help students overcome financial obstacles and progress to college completion. Students must be Pell recipients to be eligible. The first grants were awarded in March 2016, and the program will continue through spring semester 2018.
"This will give us a much-needed resource to add to our student assistance and support toolkit," saidJim Shelley, manager of the Lakeland Men's Center.
"In terms of unforeseen expenses that students face, transportation ranks high. Many have car problems or housing issues such as rent. It's not uncommon for a student to need a motel room while he or she is waiting to get into an emergency homeless shelter. Utilities and medical expenses also arise."
Since March 15, 2016, more than 20 students have received emergency grants. The Men's and Women's Centers expect to provide grants to greater numbers of students in need during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years.
Lakeland is one of 31 community and technical colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin that received a combined $1.5 million in Great Lakes funds to build emergency grant programs that help low-income students overcome financial obstacles that might otherwise cause them to drop out.