Representatives from Scholarship America visited MCTC on August 2 to deliver MCTC’s first installment of a three-year $85,000 grant to help students stay in college when faced with unforeseen financial emergencies.
After a nationwide selection process, MCTC was announced as one of 13 community and open-enrollment colleges chosen to offer the grant program Dreamkeepers in the fall of 2010.
Since 2004, Scholarship America has distributed nearly $1.1 million in student grants through Dreamkeepers. To date, the average student grant of $523 has been used for purposes like housing, utilities, meals, childcare, transportation or car repairs. Now in 31 schools across the country, Scholarship America plans to continue raising funds so additional community and open-enrollment colleges can offer the Dreamkeepers program as part of their overall efforts to improve graduation rates.
The selected schools enroll large numbers of historically underserved, low-income and/or first-generation college students. Dreamkeepers focuses on these students because unexpected financial setbacks are one of the top reasons they drop out of school.
MCTC President Phil Davis says, “The Dreammaker’s grant will provide a safety net for some our most deserving students. The college is grateful to Scholarship America for helping to meet the unique needs of our students.”
“Community and open-enrollment colleges have become the gateway to postsecondary education for an increasing number of students, many of whom are also working and have families,” said Donald Lassere, Senior Vice President, Scholarship America. “These students know an education will improve their future, but are forced to make difficult choices if they face a short-term financial emergency. Thanks to the support of Kresge, Lumina and Walmart foundations, we’ll be able to help even more of these students stay in school.”
Scholarship America will provide onsite support and training to help each of the new colleges establish the program and raise funds to ensure its long-term success. Scholarship America will also provide an online application tool and online financial literacy tool.