Finish Line Grants help students through unexpected emergencies
WENTWORTH - In July 2018, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced the implementation of a Finish Line Grants program to assist community college students who face unforeseen financial emergencies to complete their educational programs. The program is funded through approximately $7 million made available through the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
Students often incur unexpected emergency expenses that may deter their completion of their respective educational program. This includes occurrences related to transportation, auto repairs, dependent care, utility bills, certain types of need for housing-related assistance, and medical needs. The purpose of the grant is to provide qualified students who incur unexpected financial distress to receive assistance to enable them to complete their program of study.
“We must maintain a strong workforce to continue attracting companies and helping business thrive in North Carolina,” said N.C. Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland. “The Finish Line Grants program will further expand our pool of skilled workers by eliminating barriers that prevent talented students from completing their training and getting rewarding jobs that support them and their families.”
Grants are available for the 2018-19 academic year. Grants are held and administered by the local workforce development board. At Rockingham Community College, the Financial Aid Office can provide guidance as to how students complete their applications and will also verify that certain of the eligibility criteria have been fulfilled by the student.
Students’ requests for assistance are not approved by the college Financial Aid Office. Students’ applications are forwarded to the local workforce development board for grant approval and distribution of funds. The workforce development board does not distribute the funds directly to the student, but rather, to the provider who helps to respond to the student’s emergency.
To qualify, a student must:
• be 18 years of age;
• be a U.S. citizen;
• be enrolled at a community college in good academic standing (2.0 GPA or higher);
• have completed 50% of a certificate, diploma, or degree program, or a Continuing Education program that results in a credential (this is a change from the original of 75% completion); and
• demonstrate evidence of a financial emergency or unforeseen financial challenge that has had an impact upon the student’s completion of his/her program.
RCC Financial Aid Director Carol Perry is the college’s representative to the local workforce development board, which is now receiving applications.
RCC Financial Aid Office
• Phone: 336-342-4261 ext. 2203
• Location: Whitcomb Student Center
• Opens at 8 a.m. weekdays
• Closes at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays
• Closes at 3 p.m. on Fridays
• Closes at 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
February 26, 2019