For the City Times
Mid-State Technical College (Mid-State) announced today implementation of a new student emergency grant program, funded through a generous $39,700 grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (Great Lakes).
The Mid-State student population is very diverse in age and background, meaning many students have family, work, and other responsibilities to manage while attending college. With the need to juggle these responsibilities and finances to attend Mid-State, a $500 car repair, medical bill, or other unexpected expense can threaten their ability to continue their education.
The Dash Emergency Grant Program from Great Lakes addresses this very issue, as it enables Mid-State to provide emergency grants to relieve small financial burdens that may be creating a barrier to staying enrolled. By quickly removing the financial distraction, students can maintain their focus on their studies and continue their progress toward completion of their Mid-State degree or certificate.
The process to apply for a Dash Emergency Grant at Mid-State is simple. When faced with an unexpected bill, students apply for an emergency grant through their Mid-State program counselor. Once approved, the requested expense is paid within 48 hours. However, students must be a Pell grant recipient to qualify for a Dash Emergency Grant.
Great Lakes distributed to a total of $1.5 million in Dash Emergency Grants to 31 colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The program is based on one that was piloted by Great Lakes at Mid-State and Wisconsin’s 15 other technical colleges from 2012 through 2015. College-reported data indicates that, over the three years of the program, 73 percent of Pell-eligible emergency grant recipients either graduated or remained enrolled. By comparison, the National Center for Education Statistics reports a 59 percent retention rate for all students at public two-year institutions.Great Lakes anticipates that the Dash Emergency Grant Program will help an estimated 4,000 low-income students stay on the path to graduation.
Mid-State students also have access to a library of financial information and advice through a resource called SALT®. This online tool can be used to learn about financial aid, banking, investing, retirement, and many other finance-related topics. Created by American Student Assistance®, a nonprofit, each of SALT’s topics are delivered in bite-sized chunks. The service is free and you do not need to be a current Mid-State student to sign up for SALT.
There are also a number of resources to lower the cost of a Mid-State Technical College education. Most Mid-State students qualify for state or federal financial aid. In fact, four out of five Mid-State students receive some form of financial assistance. To learn more about financial aid, visit www.mstc.edu/paying-for-college/financial-aid or stop by a Mid-State campus office near you. The college’s financial aid staff will provide you with valuable information to help you make good financial decisions related to attending Mid-State and assist you with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Mid-State Foundation offers a number of scholarships to both new and returning students. The process to apply is easy. To learn more about scholarships and how you can apply, visit www.mstc.edu/scholarships.