Emergency fund provides student aid

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Trennt Rhea

Dallas College students can apply for emergency funds by visiting the Edquity app or website.

Mykel Hilliard, Multimedia Editor

Paying for necessities such as food, shelter, childcare, transportation and healthcare can be challenging when pursuing higher education. With students’ needs in mind, Dallas College has emergency financial support available for those who qualify. 

As colleges across the nation continue to navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, students have begun to feel more stress about personal finances, according to a national survey conducted by Scholarship America, one of the largest providers of private scholarships in the nation. 

According to the study, 64% of students said affording their school payments is one of their top concerns, and 77% said the effects of the pandemic have reduced their ability to earn the income needed to pay for their education.  

Linda Braddy, Brookhaven Campus president, said when some students do not have the money or resources to address emergencies, they end up having to drop out of courses. 

“Emergency aid is helpful in supporting students,” Braddy said. “We know that research shows it is often a circumstance where a student needs $500 or less to address an emergency situation in order to be able to stay in college.”

Since 2019, the Dallas College Foundation and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund have provided millions of dollars’ worth of emergency funds with their Emergency Aid Fund program. 

The program was originally launched in the Fall 2019 semester after 10 tornadoes swept through North Texas, Valerie Cavazos, Dallas College Foundation marketing director, said. To create the Emergency Aid Fund, the Dallas College foundation partnered with a Brooklyn-based educational finance support and emergency aid company called Edquity.

In addition to the tornadoes, the program was initiated based on results from a 2016 study conducted on food and housing insecurity among Dallas College students by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s HOPE Lab. The study found that 11% of students were homeless at one point when the survey was conducted. Additionally, 41% of students reported skipping or reducing the size of their meals because they did not have enough money for food. 

 Jimmy Elder, Brookhaven head soccer coach, said: “This is a great program. Easy and quick. We have several student-athletes who benefit from it.” 

Eligible students must be enrolled at Dallas College. They can submit an application by visiting Edquity’s website, app.edquity.co or by downloading the Edquity app, available on the App Store or Google Play. Students can apply once per semester regardless of their citizenship status.

After receiving the application, Edquity reviews an applicant’s eligibility for aid from the Dallas College Foundation and then the college reviews eligibility for emergency aid from the HEERF. 

Wait times to receive funds vary based on the number of applications received per semester. Those who have not been updated about the status of their application after two weeks can email [email protected]

For more information on emergency aid, visit dallascollege.edu/emergencyaid.