NEWARK, Ohio, December 21, 2015 – Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) was recently awarded a nearly $40,000 grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation Dash Emergency Grant Program to help students complete their degrees. COTC was one of 31 colleges to receive the funding. The money will be used to offer emergency grants to students who receive Federal Pell Grants.
"This is something that our students really need," said COTC Director of Financial Aid Faith Phillips. "We are thrilled to be one of the recipients of the grant funds."
Community and technical colleges provide a gateway to promising futures for students from diverse backgrounds, many who are older, lower income, working and/or raising families. They juggle multiple financial responsibilities and unforeseen expenses—often less than $500—can threaten their ability to stay in college. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, just 20 percent of full-time students at public two-year institutions earn a degree within three years. Financial emergencies are among the reasons why so many students abandon their studies before they complete their degrees or certificates. Colleges can make a difference for these at-risk students by quickly providing small emergency grants to remove economic barriers that stand in the way of completion.
Great Lakes has awarded $1.5 million in Dash grants to 31 colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin that have shown an extraordinary commitment to engaging with students who experience a financial crisis. Proof of this commitment is an institutional investment: each college is providing an escalating cash match for student emergency grants, both to meet students' immediate needs and move toward program sustainability. Over the duration of the grant period, upwards of 4,000 students stand to benefit from the Dash program.
"Great Lakes is pleased to provide more resources to colleges 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 community college credential can provide."
Dash is based on the success of an emergency grant program that Great Lakes piloted at 16 technical colleges in Wisconsin from June 2012 to June 2015. More than 2,600 students received grants averaging $500 each. Of the students who received emergency grants during the three-year period, 73 percent either graduated or remained enrolled, compared to 67 percent of Pell recipients before the program began.
Central Ohio Technical College is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs, as well as encouraging the professional development of students, staff, faculty and administrators to assist them in achieving their maximum potential. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.