Bank of America Grant Assists Students with Textbooks, Instructional Supplies During Economically Challenging Times
CONTACT: KELLY STEINHILPER, 803-896-5408
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/23/2010
(By Lisa Garrett)
PENDLETON --- A grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will provide economically disadvantaged students at Tri-County Technical College and the other 15 technical colleges in the state with assistance with school fees and expenses.
The S.C. Technical College System’s Foundation today announced a $100,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. The funds will assist students by providing a supplemental, emergency source of funds to cover the costs of textbooks, instructional supplies, tools or uniforms for low to moderate income students.
With the bank’s support, a minimum of 200 technical college students across the state will receive assistance.
“The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recognizes the barriers many students face in trying to further their education,” said Dr. Ronnie L. Booth, president of Tri-County Technical College. “During these challenging economic times, assistance with books and supplies could make all the difference for students with the greatest financial need. We appreciate the generosity and concern of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and their desire to help students to achieve their dream of earning a college degree.”
“As unemployment rises and decreasing state budgets present challenges to our students, this generous support from Bank of America is critical to ensuring those struggling receive a quality education,” said Richard Heaton, president of the System Foundation.
“With more South Carolinians than ever turning to two-year colleges to learn new skills, Bank of America is pleased to help economically disadvantaged students with school fees and expenses during these challenging times,” said Kim Wilkerson, South Carolina president for Bank of America. “The cost of textbooks and instructional supplies is one of the largest barriers to student attendance and retention. Bank of America is proud to support the System’s goal of providing a quality education that is both accessible and affordable.”
The general guidelines that the 16 technical colleges will use to administer the Additional Student Support for Instruction, Supplies, and Training (ASSIST) Fund include:
- Priority to technical college students receiving the Pell Grant award;
- Students receiving Pell Grants or Lottery Tuition Assistance, who have exhausted their financial aid and cannot pay out-of-pocket expenses for textbooks and instructional supplies, such as nursing kits or automotive tools;
- Low to moderate income students maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better;
- Evidence of enrollment in a program at the local technical college that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate;
- Maximum award of $500 per semester, although each college may establish award ranges for textbooks and supplies based on part-time and full-time enrollment, as well as instructional programs with higher costs.
“South Carolinians rely now more than ever on the SC Technical College System to learn new skills and enhance their overall employability. A technical college education offers students the lowest tuition cost available and the greatest flexibility,” said Barry Russell, president of the SC Technical College System. “The ASSIST Fund will help us to provide our students with an even better opportunity for success by offsetting what can be a very significant financial challenge, especially for our most economically challenged students.”
The SC Technical College System educates and trains more than 250,000 South Carolinians. Many of the students attending technical colleges receive tuition assistance in the form of Pell Grants, which are awarded to students who have demonstrated financial need.
At Tri-County this spring, $1,165,024 in lottery tuition scholarships were granted to 1,811 students. Last spring lottery scholarships totaled $1,209,984 and were awarded to 2,060 students. The amount of Pell grants dispersed increased tremendously this spring. This semester 2,984 persons received a total of $5,851,509, as opposed to 2,051 receiving $3,122,523 last spring (2009). LIFE scholarships are on the rise also, with 918 receiving a total of $1,634,808 this semester as compared to 750 receiving $1,243,100 last spring (2009).
In the academic year 2008-09, 38.7% of the 122,516 students enrolled in credit programs across the System received Pell Grants. More than 50% of these Pell Grant recipients receive the full Pell Grant amount — these students comprise the neediest category of students for the purposes of the Pell Grant program.
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, last year Bank of America embarked on a ten-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Bank associate volunteers contributed more than 800,000 hours in 2009 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.