Students Get Help with Financial Emergencies

For the first time, Northwest Vista College students will have a small safety net to help them with emergencies that could take them away from their studies or even drop out of college.

Thanks to a $30,000 grant from the Trellis Company, a student who might be not be able to pay rent for the month or needs emergency childcare assistance can put in application to receive emergency funds in several days.

Dr. Randall Garza said this is the first time NVC has received this grant.

“These are free funds and are not loans the students have to pay back. We want to keep the challenge inside of the classroom and if something as simple as helping with a car payment, or rent for the month can allow a student to focus and be successful here at NVC, we want to let the students know that we are here to support them,” Dr. Garza said. “We encourage them to ask for help. This program also offers free financial coaching that students can take advantage of.”

This grant is a part of an initiative by NVC to help students holistically with life challenges that would take them away from the classroom. Just recently, NVC started the WIN Resource Center (What I Need) that will focus on connecting students with resources in the community and on campus with food assistance, resume building, budgeting, counseling and scholarships. Later this semester, NVC will also unveil its food pantry, in which employees are actively raising money, to help students who are hungry. According to a recent study, 2 in 3 community college students are food insecure; meaning they have a limited availability of nutritionally adequate food.

Eligible expenses that the Trellis grant committee will consider include, but are not limited to utilities, housing/rent, food, medical/dental, transportation and child care. However, funds can’t be used to help with school expenses, such as parking, fines, tuition, books, supplies, required tools/equipment.

Once a student applies, there is a 48-hour post-application and interview approval after all the appropriate proof and documentation of the emergency have been collected. The first funding cycle will begin in late September, and the Trellis committee on campus has just one year to distribute all the funds, with the hopes of renewing the application.

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