$420,000 grant helps launch emergency aid program

June 26, 2017
Spring Campus

PLATTEVILLE, Wis – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has received a $420,000 Dash Emergency Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates to operate and maintain a student emergency aid program. Emergency grants will be integrated into the college’s overall student success strategy with the goal of improving retention and completion rates.

“Our goal at UW-Platteville is to provide resources for students so they can succeed, and this grant program is another valuable tool,” Dr. Karen McLeer, director of Retention and Academic Support, said. “UW-Platteville is a student-focused university, and in order to ‘promote excellence’ as our mission states, we need to provide our students with a supportive environment in which they can thrive. These grants could minimize the impact of financial stress, allowing the student to stay focused on their degree plan, which is why they are here.”

UW-Platteville serves students from diverse backgrounds, and a situation that might be a headache for one can be a major financial crisis for another. If a student is already struggling to make ends meet, an unexpected car repair or medical bill might cause that student to withdraw from college.

“It can be challenging, if not impossible, to balance financial stress and academic success,” Laura Franklin, director of Student Support Services and Services for Students with Disabilities at UW-Platteville, said. “The Dash Emergency Grant allows us the opportunity to reduce our students’ financial stress through the provision of grants for unanticipated emergencies. We want all of our students to have the opportunity to stay focused on their path to completing a college degree, and the Dash Emergency Grant program helps to make this possible.”

UW-Platteville will begin making student emergency grants in fall 2017. Students will complete an application detailing their financial emergency. A UW-Platteville committee will review the application, and expenses up to $1,000 will be paid within two business days of approval. By quickly removing financial distractions, students can refocus on their studies and continue toward graduation.

“I was a first generation college student from a low income background myself,” Franklin said. “Therefore, I understand first-hand how quickly an unexpected financial challenge can derail a student from their ability to focus on academics. Having the opportunity to provide this grant for our students during a financial emergency will allow students to overcome their financial obstacles quickly and stay on track with their academic goals.”

UW-Platteville is one of the first four-year colleges to receive a Dash Emergency Grant from Great Lakes. A combined $7.2 million in grants was awarded to 32 colleges in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Dash Emergency Grants for four-year colleges build on the success two-year colleges have achieved since Great Lakes began supporting emergency grant programs in 2012. These colleges report students who receive emergency grants stay in school at better rates and graduate in larger numbers.

“We’re pleased to extend our Dash Emergency Grant to UW-Platteville and other four-year colleges to help more at-risk students overcome financial obstacles to completion,” Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes, said.

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established in 1967 as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, Great Lakes has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to more than 8 million borrowers—as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. The group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, Great Lakes has committed over $200 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit home.mygreatlakes.org.

To learn more about applying for the emergency grant at UW-Platteville, visit the webpage.

Written by: Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications, 608-342-7121, bertolozzia@uwplatt.edu

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