STCC distributes $4 million in grants to students

Jan. 11, 2022 | Matt Conway
mconway@thereminder.com

SPRINGFIELD – After generating grant funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) is disbursing $4 million in grant funds to students.

According to STCC’s press release, the funds are being utilized to aid students facing urgent needs related to the pandemic. Reminder Publishing spoke to Vice President of Administration and CFO Andrea Nathanson and Vice President of Student Affairs Darcey Kemp about how these funds will assist students.

Nathanson explained that the university received over $7 million in ARPA funds, with the $4 million being utilized as block checks for student distribution. Darcey said she sees the block checks as a crucial avenue for students to address any needs they have.

“The students can use the funds in a way that best fits their needs. Whether its food, housing, course materials, childcare or transportation, it’s really meant for the students to utilize it in a way that’s most helpful,” said Darcey. She envisions the funds serving as a vital lifeline for students to continue their education amidst challenging circumstances.

The funds will be sent to the 3,405 eligible students, according to Nathanson. She explained that the student aid funds will help university students who are signed up for assistance programs. “The student aid funds are less about planning and more about allocation and distribution. It’s about leveraging the funds to help the most students in the best way,” said Nathanson.

For Darcey, she articulated that the aid funds bring a positive impact to the college. “We just have more avenues now that folks feel comfortable utilizing to connect students with the support and resources they are looking for. From an employee standpoint, that is very fulfilling,” said Darcey.

As the university continues to deal with COVID-19’s wide grasp, Darcey and Nathanson said the school continues to handle challenges as they arise.

“[COVID-19] has become a part of our operations…We do everything we can to keep the campus safe. We’ve set standards for safety on campus, and we are doing our best to keep everyone as safe as possible,” said Nathanson.

Darcey added, “I am consistently impressed by the responsiveness and the flexibility of the students and the campus community. Everybody is doing their very best to continue to move forward.”

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