STCC offers ‘Investment Scholarships’ to support students in need of financial help
“Student Investment Scholarship” recipients Crystal Gonzalez, left, and Amber Bigelow and their children stand with STCC President John B. Cook.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Springfield Technical Community College is staying true to its mission to support students as they transform their lives by offering “Student Investment Scholarships.”
The Student Investment Scholarships, which come in the form of grants, provide assistance for tuition, fees, books and additional program costs. Students receive an average of $500 per semester based on their individual needs.
Students receiving a Pathway Grant are required to make an “investment” of their time with THRIVE, the college’s one-stop financial success center. THRIVE services are designed to educate students about financial issues related to obtaining a college education.
The college started offering the grants last fall to help students who need that little bit of extra help to meet their college costs. As of April 30, close to $60,000 Pathway Grants were awarded to more than 150 students.
STCC student Crystal Gonzalez owed $597 when she received a letter informing her about the grant. She met with a THRIVE representative and was able to pay off her debt after receiving the scholarship.
“It was going to be a real struggle because I just lost employment,” said Gonzalez, of Springfield, a single mother with two young children.
“I was so stressed out,” she said. “I wondered, how am I going to get $600 to pay this off? I have rent to pay. I have other bills, car insurance, kids, food. But then this happened, and it was very helpful."
I was so stressed out. I wondered, how am I going to get $600 to pay this off? I have rent to pay. I have other bills, car insurance, kids, food. But then this happened, and it was very helpful.STCC student Crystal Gonzalez, Student Investment Scholarship recipient
Gonzalez now works at a nursing home and is studying radiography. She hopes to graduate in 2020.
Amber Bigelow, of Springfield, received a $362 grant through the Student Financial Services office this past fall. “I’m not currently working, so it was a big help,” said Bigelow, of Springfield, a single mother with two small children. “I was really grateful for the grant. It kept my money at home where it needed to be.”
Bigelow, who is studying business management at STCC, will graduate on May 31. She plans to continue her education and hopes to earn a master’s degree.
"I am so happy for Crystal, Amber and their families, and with support from our Foundation, STCC will continue to do all we can to help our students stay with us and complete their programs," said STCC President John B. Cook.
According to the STCC Office of Student Financial Services, the vast majority of students struggle to pay their college and life expenses while working part time, full time and raising families. Students cite financial challenges as a major reason for not continuing their STCC education.
The grants are paid for by the STCC Foundation and funding from Guardian Life Insurance, which was secured by the School of Business & Information Technologies. The Office of Student Financial Services awards the funds.
The STCC Foundation will provide up to $200,000 a year in addition to the funding from Guardian Life.
All of the grants require an “investment” of the students’ time to help foster success. Guardian Life will pay for students to enroll in an Intro to Personal Finance course, including books.
Students can make a formal request for a grant by contacting the Office of Student Financial Services.
In addition, Student Financial Services will run periodic reports to identify students who need help and may not be aware of a current balance with the college.
Interested in applying for a student investment scholarship? Contact the Office of Student Financial Services. Call (413) 755-4214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Springfield Technical Community College
Founded in 1967 and located on 35 acres of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, STCC is a major resource for the economic vitality of Western Massachusetts. As the only technical community college in Massachusetts, STCC, a designated Hispanic Serving Institution and an Achieving the Dream Leader College, offers a variety of career programs unequalled in the state. STCC’s highly regarded transfer programs in business, engineering, liberal arts, science and technology continue to provide the most economical options for students pursuing a four-year degree. With an annual enrollment of more than 7,700 day, evening, weekend and online students, STCC is a vibrant campus rich in diversity.
For more information about STCC, visit www.stcc.edu. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@S_T_C_C).
Jim Danko, (413) 755-4812, email@example.com