May 25th, 2024

College providing additional financial help to students

By LETHBRIDGE HERALD on January 19, 2021.

School of Environmental Sciences instructor Brad Taylor and student Kelly Riehl take part in an on-campus assignment in September 2020. Lethbridge College photo

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Lethbridge College is reaching out to aid their students affected by the unprecedented financial challenges brought on by the pandemic.
In the Fall 2020 semester, the college made available $200,000 of emergency funding to students to assist them in continuing from the Fall semester to Winter semester.
Necessary funding has always been available for studnets, but an increased demand necessitated the college take extra steps to support students.
The funding comes from a variety of donors and sources, including the Ready to Rise bursary, accessing available donor funds, a gift from the Lethbridge College Students’ Association, donations from college employees through both the Pay it Forward 50/50 fund and money raised during a “Dash for Cash” at the college’s virtual holiday party, the Alumni Engagement Office through both the TD Insurance Meloche Monnex alumni matching gift program and a Coca-Cola affinity partnership and institutional dollars.
Student requests for emergency funding increased by more than 100 per cent from fall 2019 to fall 2020. More than half of applications specifically mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic as a contributing factor.
“For the students who applied for these bursaries, receiving them is often the difference between being able to continue their educational journey and having to drop out,” said Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO in a release. “Financial security dramatically affects mental health and wellness, so it was important that we found a solution to help our students. I thank everyone who has contributed to our college, as that support has a direct effect on student success.”
The COVID-19 pandemic and public health measures introduced to help slow the spread of the virus have affected the employment of many post-secondary students who rely on part-time or seasonal jobs to finance their education.
The college’s Student Awards and Financial Aid department works directly with students to identify available student awards, scholarships, grants and loans.
The Ready to Rise bursary is then in place to fill in the gap for students who still need further financial support.
The bursary was launched last April and allows Lethbridge College to address the students’ most pressing needs, which includes mental health and wellness resources as well as additional financial support.
The bursary portion of the fund ensures students’ educations will not suffer because of their financial status.
Students interested in supporting the Ready to Rise campaign can contact Lethbridge College’s Development Office.
Students currently in need of financial assistance are encouraged to contact Student Awards and Financial Aid. Students currently in need of mental health resources can access services through the college’s Wellness Services department.

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