Special to The Collegian

Lorain County Community College now has additional resources to help low-income students weather financial emergencies. Students can apply for small one-time grants to help cover unexpected expenses just beyond their means, which allows them to quickly return focus to their academic pursuits.

“The need for car repair or other financial situations can arise at any time and can often lead to a student stopping their education. These small one-time grants can make a big difference in helping low-income students overcome financial obstacles, stay enrolled and graduate,” Stephanie Sutton, LCCC Dean of Enrollment and Financial Services, said.

More than 65 percent of LCCC students receive some type of financial assistance to attend college.

The student emergency grant program at LCCC is made possible by a $79,300 Dash emergency grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. The grant requires LCCC to match funds. The Barbara and Mike Bass New Opportunities Fund via the Lorain County Community College Foundation generously agreed to $24,000 in matching funds to enable the grant award.  “Our shared commitment is key to making emergency grant programs sustainable long-term,” said Amy Kerwin, Vice President – Community Investments at Great Lakes.

LCCC is one of 31 community and technical colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin that received a combined $1.5 million in Great Lakes grants to build emergency grant programs that help low-income students overcome financial obstacles that might otherwise cause them to drop out.

“Great Lakes is pleased to provide more resources to colleges like LCCC that are dedicated to supporting students in times of greatest need,” said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. “Emergency grants are a bridge to college completion and the financial security a degree can provide.

LCCC will begin making student emergency grants of up to $500 each in spring 2016. Qualified expenses will be paid within 48 hours of an approved application. Students also will be referred to additional campus, community, and financial literacy resources to supplement the grants, address root causes or contributing factors to the financial emergencies, and further support students’ persistence.

Grants will be available to students beginning on March 14. Students interested in applying for a grant may contact Saundra Daniels, LCCC Student Academic Success Coach, at (440) 366-7662 or Women’s Link at 366-4035 after March 1.