Grants helping with emergency needs for Illinois college students
The Illinois Board of Higher Education, Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Student Assistance Commission are rallying private sources of funding to support grants to meet emergency needs of low-income students at the state’s public colleges and universities.
Illinois public universities serve more than 50,000 low-income students, and the state’s community colleges serve more than 81,000 low-income students. As of April 18, the fund had raised $550,000.
The money raised will be allocated to public universities and community colleges based on their percentage and number of low-income students.
Examples of students who are at risk of dropping out due to the impact of COVID-19 include:
•A student in quarantine at home awaiting a COVID-19 test, who is not eligible for paid time off from his job. He cannot afford food or medication and worries how this will affect his education.
•A single mother in college who has lost her job and is no longer able to afford diapers or formula.
•A student studying from home whose only computer is too old to support the software needed for classes. Plus, her father, a restaurant worker, is concerned that he’ll lose his job.
The fund will be administered by the Southern Illinois University Foundation.
The institutions each have an established foundation capable of quickly receiving and distributing funds.
All part-time and full-time students in good standing are eligible. The money will be distributed as grants, which do not have to be paid back.
Students are advised to contact their school directly to find out how to access the emergency funds.