State money to help struggling students pay bills, stay in school

The Green River College is receiving $96,000.

  • Tuesday, December 24, 2019 11:20am
  • News
Green River College’s Salish Hall, as seen by a drone. Photo courtesy GRC

Green River College’s Salish Hall, as seen by a drone. Photo courtesy GRC

The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges has awarded nearly $2 million for colleges to help financially struggling students stay in school and complete their degrees. The awards were made possible by two grant programs established by the state Legislature during the 2019 legislative session.

The Student Emergency Assistance Grant Program provides community and technical colleges funding to help students pay for unexpected bills and basic living expenses like emergency car repairs, medical bills, food, childcare, transportation, rent and utilities. Sixteen community and technical colleges will receive awards over a two-year period.

Locally, Green River College is in line for $96,000. The other 15 will receiving funding varying from a low of $59,000 to a high of $100,000.

The Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness Pilot Program, established under SB 5800, creates six pilot projects for students who are homeless or were in foster care – four at community and technical colleges and two at universities. Colleges can use the funds to help students with short-term housing or housing assistance; laundry facilities, storage and showers; reduced-price meals; technology; and case-management services.

Receiving awards over a two-year period will be Edmonds Community College, South Puget Sound Community College, Walla Walla Community College and Yakima Valley College.

Last year, seven in 10 community college students nationwide experienced food or housing insecurity, according to a 2019 national survey by the Hope Center.

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