AFL awards US$10,000 grant to Greenville Tech Foundation to support student emergency needs.
AFL, a manufacturer of fiber optic cable, connectivity and equipment, has awarded a US$10,000 grant to Greenville Tech Foundation to support students enrolled in STEM degree programs who face an unexpected financial emergency that may prevent them from continuing their education.
The grant will enable STEM students facing a financial crisis to continue their education, graduate and enter the workforce to fill essential jobs in the Upstate of South Carolina.
“We regularly see requests from students who have an unexpected tuition balance after financial aid awards have been exhausted or who may struggle to pay for additional college expenses like textbooks, supplies, uniforms or testing fees that are not covered by other forms of financial aid,” said Ann Wright, Vice President of Advancement for Greenville Tech Foundation.
“Sometimes students face other financial emergencies such as utility cut-off, eviction, car repairs, medical expenses and childcare expenses that impede educational goals.”
Studies show that one of the main reasons for dropping out reported by students relates to financial challenges. The likelihood of a student re-enrolling in college after dropping out is low, with only 30% returning to finish a degree. Student Emergency funds provide just-in-time financial interventions to students making progress toward a STEM degree with a genuine unmet financial need.
Almost 50% of GTC students are from low-income homes and some 60% of students take classes while also working. Many are the first in their family to attend college. Others are single parents, trying to manage work, college and childcare.
Wright continued: “Any extra expense can be an obstacle to graduation, but research shows that direct financial support has a significant impact on keeping students in school and getting them to graduation.”
The grant from AFL will extend GTC’s existing Student Emergency Needs program for STEM degree-seeking students. Funding will provide one-time financial assistance to STEM degree students for financial emergencies that would prevent a student from continuing their education.
Assistance is capped at US$1,000 per student. This program has already helped more than 180 students with emergency aid for the different barriers.
AFL’s Community Outreach Program includes grants, sponsorships, volunteer and environment initiatives, disaster relief, scholarships and more.