By Garrick Hoffman
In 2012, upon the inauguration of President Cantor, a fund was created to provide emergency financial support to students in need when unexpected financial difficulties emerge that may threaten to derail their education. It was also created to provide targeted support for key college programs.
Certain criteria must be met to be eligible for this financial support, however. It is also important to note that there is a lifetime limit of one award that is granted per student, and the amount of the award is capped at $500.
In the academic year of 2014, there were 20 applicants. In the same academic year, 10 awards were made, ranging from $70-$500, ultimately totaling $3067.00. Two additional in-kind car repair awards were granted, totaling $500. A number of applicants were either denied or withdrew their requests. Five applicants were awarded scholarships or supported in other ways.
The process of the award review is vigorous and taken seriously. A number of steps are put forth, including background research conducted by the review committee. This entails examining the student’s academic record, financial aid status, discipline record, and other pertinent information. If the student’s academic progress is not at a satisfactory status when they apply, their applications may be denied.
If the award is made, the billing office will strive to produce the award within 48 hours.
At the discretion of the review committee, loans may be offered in lieu of awards. The student may request the loans, which are to be repaid out of the anticipated financial aid.
The Beacon will be contributing about $500 to the fund every semester via revenue generated by ad sales. The SMCC club Enactus comprises the ad sales team for The Beacon, and 30% of that revenue is shared with Enactus.
Two donors to the fund that are paramount to mention are the Sturdivant Island Tuna Tournament and the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Rotary. Both of these organizations have been tremendously helpful and generous with the President’s Fund, and recognition for both is indubitably in order.
Many students have expressed their gratitude for receiving support from the President’s Fund. One student lamented that she wanted to “thank you for the $260.00 grant that I recently received from your fund,” going on to say that the money “made the difference of whether I was able to make it to class for the next 3 weeks or not.”
The student stressed that the support was enormously beneficial for her and her family, and that if she had not received it, her educational experience would have been atrophied by the circumstances at hand, and the hardships she endured could have been exacerbated by further financial adversity.
Another stated that “I cannot express enough how deeply grateful I am for this huge financial help. Coming from a very tight financial situation with next to no money to do anything, and wanting nothing more than to fulfill my academic dreams, this has been a huge help in the process. …I will not disappoint with the success of my studies this semester.”
More information can be found online in the SMCC portal, in “My Maine Guide” under “My Money.”
Categories: Campus News