AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Amarillo College has a ‘No Excuse’ fund that provides financial assistance to struggling college students.
“We’ll have funding for housing to pay for deposits, rent, mortgage as needed. It will pay for utilities and childcare support for students,” said Cara Crowley, vice president of strategic initiatives at Amarillo College.
An emergency fund that has been around for five years is receiving a quarter of a million dollars to help students. That’s close to the amount of money they have given out over the years.
“It’s just really nice to be able to count on your school to be able to help you in that way,” said Hope Demery, student at Amarillo College.
AC says it's studies have shown when students are helped to overcome big life challenges, they are more likely to finish college.
“When we help a student address a life barrier, they stay in school. Students who receive this kind of assistance, they have higher retention rates and higher graduation rate, they just need a little support,” said Crowley.
A foundation saw what AC was doing and decided to donate well before the coronavirus outbreak was predicted to have such a financial impact for some. Now the college says this money could not come at a better time.
“Sometimes I really believe God gives us miracles. This was done before we knew COVID was going to be this kind of catastrophic impact on our community, so it has just kind of worked out that we got an additional $100,000 to help students who need it. It’s going to be desperately needed this semester,” said Crowley.
“Especially during this time, I mean, peoples stress is going through the roof. Some people are struggling financially, so just some of the resources they give you, monetary-wise, comes extremely handy. That’s something AC does a really great job at promoting,” said Hector Casanova, student body president at Amarillo College.
The $250,000 will be used over a two year period.
If students are in need of financial help, the fund makes a one time payment directly to the third party.