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Thursday, March 30, 2017

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New grant ensures low-income students finish home stretch


UH was recently awarded a $50,000 grant to help prevent low-income students nearing graduation from dropping out.

UH is one of nine public universities across the United States to receive this grant. One major factor university candidates were judged on was their capacity to implement the grant while monitoring success and if they had reliable ways of communicating with the students, said Shari Garmise, Vice President for Urban Initiatives at Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

The two-year award was granted by the APLU and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities and funded by the Lumina Foundation and Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation.

“Our university is dedicated to helping all our students succeed in a timely manner, and I feel this micro-grant will help us push those students who are close to graduation to complete their education,” Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Paula Myrick Short said in a news release.

There will be a screening performed by the UH Office of the Provost to process students who will directly receive these funds. Some of the student qualities they will look for are good academic standing and if they are on track to graduate within the following year, as well as if the student has financial barriers impeding their progress to graduation, such as not having the ability to afford tuition.

“UH has a significant student population who can benefit from completion grants, and our dedication to effectively meeting this need made us a strong candidate for the micro-grant award,” UH Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Student Success Teri Elkins Longacre said.

According to APLU, the grant can have a significant impact on students’ lives because it reaches such a specific target group. It could make a difference in the college experience of a student who has genuine financial needs by possibly decreasing their student debt.

“Dropping out is so tragic,” Garmise said. “These folks who have invested a lot of time and money are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and $500 could really make or brake it.”

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