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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Emergency fund offers students help with bills

Low-income students may be eligible for the Student Emergency Assistance Fund. They can apply for the scholarship on the TCC Foundation page. Photo courtesy of TCC Foundation

Mary Katherine Owens
reporter

Eliminating Barriers is a TCC scholarship available to students for immediate financial relief from issues such as electric bills, cars, payments and more.

“We did not want students to wait days or weeks to receive help,” said Fred Schmidt, director of development at the TCC Foundation. “It is possible for students to receive help within hours of making a request.”

TCC’s Chief Operating Officer Susan Alanis said she understands how life can get in the way of education for students with issues that are nonacademic.

“Eliminating Barriers grants, in particular, prevents life’s hiccups from becoming insurmountable,” Alanis said.

Eliminating Barriers will be available for the next year or so, said Kristen Bennett, executive vice president of advancement for TCC Foundation.

She said private funding has helped students in various ways through the program.
“What we focus on is the general and eliminating barriers where the college can’t help with federal funds,” she said

Students are more likely to drop out due to financial issues than anything else, Bennett said.

“It’s not necessary that they can’t learn and that they can’t test,” Bennett said. “It’s always the barriers like housing disparity, food disparity, bills.”

The idea for the scholarship came in 2019 before the pandemic hit the U.S., but board members and faculty came together out of increased concern as things worsened in 2020 wanting to ensure student success during this time.

“TCC Foundation made an appeal to our current donors and other potential donors, and the result was immediate and generous,” Schmidt said.

Donors’ gifts are “deeply personal,” Schmidt said, and the passion donors have for the students and their success is the most important.

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