$1.1 Million in Emergency Grants Support Students

Two students sitting, in conversation

Minneapolis College is known for creating a learning environment filled with energy and opportunity. During the throws of the COVID-19 pandemic, the halls of the College were virtually empty. Students, however, were fully engaged with their classes, instructors and peers in online learning, striving to reach their goals in new and innovative ways.

Some of these goals may have been cut short had it not been for emergency funding offered through Minneapolis College. Made available through the Higher Education Emergency Relief III (HEERF III), and authorized by the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the emergency funding was created to help students avert crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has been felt throughout our community and world. As a result, students experienced a negative shift in their financial stability,” said Jason Dorsett, Senior Accounting Officer at Minneapolis College. “This is one reason the College included emergency grants in the student aid portion of its American Rescue Plan.”

The emergency funding is part of the College’s overall efforts to meet the needs of its students so they can reach their goals. Emergency grants for college costs allowed students to stay enrolled in school and avoid losing momentum. The grants helped students pay costs such as food, housing, tuition, course supplies, healthcare, childcare, transportation- and technology-related expenses. Even more innovative, the emergency grants are available to international and undocumented students who are often left out of opportunities such as this one.

“The emergency funding is aligned with the College’s mission, vision and values which support student success,” said Dorsett. “We also offer scholarship opportunities, an on-campus health clinic, counseling, housing referrals, recovery services and other support services.”

According to Becky Nordin, Dean of Students and TRIO Director, the on-campus food bank has seen a 60 percent increase in usage since the pandemic began and statewide data reveals 37 percent of college students overall have experienced food insecurity. “ARP funding allows students to put funds towards their basic needs such as housing, food, childcare, technology and utilities,” said Nordin. The College’s ARP student aid plan contains funding for emergency grants during the upcoming spring semester 2022. More information including applications will be available via the College website in late February 2022.

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