The in Madison, Wisconsin, has announced grants totaling $1.5 million to thirty-one colleges in the Midwest that have shown an extraordinary commitment to engaging with students who experience a financial crisis.
Part of Great Lakes' new , the grants were awarded to community and technical colleges in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin and will support each college's financial assistance efforts by providing an escalating cash match for student emergency grants, both to meet students' immediate needs and to move the program toward sustainability. Through the program, students apply for small grants directly from their college when faced with an unexpected bill for things like a car repair or medical payment. Expenses are paid within forty-eight hours of the approved application. By quickly removing the financial distraction, the program enables students to focus on their studies and continue moving toward completion. More than four thousand students are expected to benefit from the program.
The Dash program is based on the success of an emergency grant program that Great Lakes piloted at sixteen technical colleges in Wisconsin from June 2012 to June 2015. Through that program, more than twenty-six hundred students received grants averaging $500 each. Of the students who received emergency grants during the three-year period, 73 percent either graduated or remained enrolled, compared to 67 percent of Pell recipients before the program began.
"Great Lakes is pleased to provide more resources to colleges that are dedicated to supporting students in times of greatest need," said Great Lakes president and CEO Richard D. George. "Emergency grants are a bridge to college completion and the financial security a community college credential can provide."