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$500,000 Distributed to College Students During Pandemic through Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund

September 9th, 2020

Support for Students to Continue Through Advising and Capacity Building of Supporting Organizations

PHOENIX, Az – September 9, 2020 – College Success Arizona and Helios Education Foundation announced today that the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund has completed the distribution of the full $500,000 fund amount. The Fund provided grants to 1,156 low-income and first-generation college students to help them continue their education despite the economic hardships caused by the pandemic.

The pandemic has had a severe impact on students’ economic security, physical and mental health, academics, and access to support services. In order to help students either graduate or continue their education into the fall semester, these funds assisted with educational expenses, housing expenses, technology expenses, as well as other immediate needs.

“Students told us stories about losing jobs and housing. Stories about how their parents and families were under financial strain due to sudden unemployment. Many were struggling to pay for rent, groceries, or medical expenses. Many wondered how they would continue paying for tuition or books, and many needed to purchase new technology to stay connected to their classes. Grants to these students were a lifeline to help them continue their education despite these setbacks,” said Rich Nickel, President and CEO of College Success Arizona.

Many of the students who received grants through the Fund are from backgrounds and communities that are traditionally underserved and underrepresented in higher education. Grant recipients include students from 14 different tribal affiliations, DACA students, migrant students in the CAMP program, and adult students.

In addition to the $500,000 in student grants, College Success Arizona provided $25,000 in capacity-building funds to increase the ability of partner organizations to support students virtually. College Success Arizona has also secured funding to provide ongoing virtual advising services to support students who received funds. These services will support students through their next academic year to ensure that they have the support they need to persist in their studies and complete their degrees.

“This fund has helped so many students throughout Arizona meet their needs and continue their education during one of the most perilous situations we’ve faced as a state, nation and global community,” said Paul Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation. “The relief that the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund has provided is just the beginning of the support that Arizona’s students will need to complete their education. We will continue to focus on ways to support students and their pursuit of a postsecondary degree.” 

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation invests resources all along the education continuum to ensure more students in Arizona and Florida connect potential to opportunity by completing a postsecondary degree. Committed to the principles of Community, Equity, Investment, and Partnership, Helios and our partners improve educational outcomes for minority, first-generation, and underrepresented students, throughout Arizona, and in Florida’s metropolitan regions of Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Miami. Focused on the limitless opportunities provided by an equitable education system, Helios and our partners seek to change lives, strengthen communities, and close achievement gaps. Since 2004 Helios has invested more than $240 million in partnerships and initiatives focused on improving education outcomes in the two states we serve. Learn more about Helios Education Foundation at www.helios.org.

About College Success Arizona

College Success Arizona works to significantly increase the college attainment rate of students in Arizona, particularly for those who otherwise would not be able to attend or graduate, such as low-income, first-generation, and Latino students. We advocate for long-term, sustainable policy solutions that address key challenges in Arizona. Our priorities include closing information gaps that limit college-going culture, working to improve college affordability and increase state financial aid, and advocating for increased attainment statewide to drive economic growth. Learn more at www.collegesuccessarizona.org

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