$79,300 Grant Supports Student Emergency Fund at Normandale Community College

By Steven Geller - Director of Media and Public Relations

Normandale Community College now has additional resources to help low-income students weather financial emergencies. Students can apply for small grants to help cover expenses just beyond their means, which allows them to quickly return focus to their academic pursuits.

"Normandale Community College and the Foundation fully realize our students have academic, personal, and financial issues that may keep them from completing their degree or even the current semester," shares Normandale Foundation Executive Director Colleen Simpson. "Our students experience job loss, health issues, transportation problems, homelessness, and hunger. These emergency grants will cover resulting critical expenses such as past-due rent, utility shut-off, car repair, or medical bills."

The student emergency grant program at Normandale is made possible by a $79,300 Dash emergency grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. Normandale is one of 31 community and technical colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin that received a combined $1.5 million in Great Lakes grants to build emergency grant programs that help low-income students overcome financial obstacles that might otherwise cause them to drop out. It is also one of eight colleges in Minnesota to receive the grant.

"Great Lakes is pleased to provide more resources to colleges like Normandale that are dedicated to supporting students in times of greatest need," said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. "Emergency grants are a bridge to college completion and the financial security a degree can provide."

Normandale will begin making student emergency grants of up to $500 each in spring 2016. Qualified expenses will be paid within 48 hours of an approved application. Students also will be referred to additional campus, community, and financial literacy resources to supplement the grants, address root causes or contributing factors to the financial emergencies, and further support students' persistence.

To serve greater numbers of students throughout the Great Lakes grant period and beyond, Normandale will contribute matching funds during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years. "Our shared commitment is key to making emergency grant programs sustainable long-term," said Amy Kerwin, Vice President - Community Investments at Great Lakes.

Normandale Foundation is providing matching funds of $28,000 for the emergency grants. A campaign to raise the matching funds is currently underway. Gifts of cash, stocks and mutual funds, life insurance, or real estate may be designated to Emergency Financial Assistance for our students.

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Normandale Community College
Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn., enrolls nearly 15,000 students each school year. The college is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) System, a network of 31 colleges, spanning 54 campuses across 47 Minnesota communities serving more than 435,000 students annually.

Normandale Community College Foundation
Normandale Community College Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, provides philanthropic resources to help Normandale Community College achieve its mission and full potential as a college. Established in 1979, the Foundation provides opportunities for K-12 schools, individuals, organizations, and businesses to work in partnership with Normandale to meet a broad range of educational goals. In an effort to keep the college available and affordable for as many students as possible, we actively raise funds for student scholarships, academic projects, equipment and faculty development. Last year, the Foundation distributed nearly $615,000 to support student scholarships and college programs.

About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967.
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to more than 8 million borrowers-as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. The group's earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed nearly $154 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit home.mygreatlakes.org.