Helios Education Foundation and Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities Launch Summer Completion Grant Initiative

Author: Helios Education Foundation

Posted on: May 13, 2020

Eligible students may receive up to $1,250 in grant funds

Helios Education Foundation partnered with the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities to launch the Helios-Florida Consortium COVID-19 Summer Completion Grant Initiative. The initiative is funded by a $650,000 investment from Helios and will provide financial support to hundreds of students at Florida International University (FIU), University of Central Florida (UCF), and University of South Florida (USF). 

“At a time of numerous challenges, we are pleased to offer students in Florida’s largest metropolitan regions grant support to ensure they remain enrolled during the summer and committed to degree completion,” said Vince Roig, Founding Chairman, Helios Education Foundation. “This initiative will provide support for limited-income students who are in danger of reducing their course-taking hours or not enrolling at all.”

The Helios-Florida Consortium COVID-19 Summer Completion Grant Initiative will address expenses not covered by the federally funded CARES ACT or traditional financial aid.  The Helios-Florida Consortium COVID-19 Summer Completion Grant will support students who are at risk of stopping out, or who are likely to reduce their summer course schedule rather than take a full course load. By providing emergency completion grants, the initiative will increase the likelihood students stay on track and graduate on time. 

“A large cross section of learners at FIU, UCF, and USF traditionally work full-time. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted local economies and increased unemployment throughout Florida, adversely impacting these students,” said Dr. Michael Preston, Executive Director of the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities. “About 55% of Pell eligible students in the entire State University System of Florida are enrolled at FIU, UCF, and USF. We are grateful to Helios Education Foundation for their investment and support of our students during this unsettling time.”

At FIU, UCF, and USF, a core team of administrators is responsible for emergency aid, distribution of CARES Act funds, and will also administer the Helios-Florida Consortium COVID-19 Summer Completion Grant. Contrary to traditional completion grants that target seniors, this grant is available to all in-state undergraduate students with documented financial need. Additionally, unlike the federally-funded CARES Act, online students are eligible for this grant. This initiative is designed to support on-time degree completion and ultimately position students for career success. 

 “Amid the uncertainty students are currently experiencing, this support will bring short-term stability, allowing students to remain focused on degree completion and a successful future post-COVID-19,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation. 

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