News

$500,000 Distributed to College Students During Pandemic Through Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund

Author: Helios Education Foundation

Posted on: September 10, 2020

Support for Students to Continue Through Advising and Capacity Building of Supporting Organizations

College Success Arizona and Helios Education Foundation announced today the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund has completed distribution of the full $500,000 fund amount. The Fund provided grants to 1,156 low-income and first-generation college students to help them continue their education despite the economic hardships caused by the pandemic.

The pandemic has had a severe impact on students’ economic security, physical and mental health, academics, and access to support services. In order to help students either graduate or continue their education into the fall semester, these funds assisted with educational expenses, housing expenses, technology expenses, as well as other immediate needs.

“Students told us stories about losing jobs and housing. Stories about how their parents and families were under financial strain due to sudden unemployment. Many were struggling to pay for rent, groceries, or medical expenses. Many wondered how they would continue paying for tuition or books, and many needed to purchase new technology to stay connected to their classes. Grants to these students were a lifeline to help them continue their education despite these setbacks,” said Rich Nickel, President and CEO of College Success Arizona.

Many of the students who received grants through the Fund are from backgrounds and communities that are traditionally underserved and underrepresented in higher education. Grant recipients include students from 14 different tribal affiliations, DACA students, migrant students in the CAMP program, and adult students.

In addition to the $500,000 in student grants, College Success Arizona provided $25,000 in capacity-building funds to increase the ability of partner organizations to support students virtually. College Success Arizona has also secured funding to provide ongoing virtual advising services to support students who received funds. These services will support students through their next academic year to ensure that they have the support they need to persist in their studies and complete their degrees. 

“This fund has helped so many students throughout Arizona meet their needs and continue their education during one of the most perilous situations we’ve faced as a state, nation and global community,” said Paul Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “The relief that the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund has provided is just the beginning of the support that Arizona’s students will need to complete their education. We will continue to focus on ways to support students and their pursuit of a postsecondary degree.”  

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