Micro-grants for past-due students

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Berkshire Community College (BCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, with sponsorship from Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, is offering select students micro-grants to help them pay their past-due debts and stay on track to graduate.

The program is called the “Guardian Value Scholarship” (the Scholarship), which identifies students who are in good academic standing but unable to re-enroll due to college debt. The Scholarship can help reduce or remove a student’s debt to the College which in turn allows them to register for upcoming spring 2018 classes at BCC.

The maximum value of the Scholarship is $1,500. If a student owes more than $1,500, they are expected to pay down the remaining balance of their debt before they can register.

“We, at BCC, are really grateful to Guardian for providing us with funding that we believe will have a significant impact on our ability to help students reach their academic goals” Adam Klepetar, Vice-President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management said.

“Micro grants have been proven to be a successful tool to keep students in college and on track towards graduation. I think our program is particularity strong because we’ve built in a course, offered free to students that focuses on financial literacy and will move the student towards ongoing financial health.”

Recipients of the Scholarship must agree to take a full course load (12 or more credits) including the College’s BUS-139 Personal Finance course, a course that is supported by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and is free to students.

In the fall 2017 semester, 39 students took the free personal finance course, which aims to help them learn to be more financially savvy.

“We’re excited to be able to offer 34 current students the opportunity to stay on track – thanks to this Scholarship helping them off-set some of their debts,“ Anne Moore, BCC’s Director of Student Financial Services said. “As they go through the personal finance course, the intention is they won’t find themselves in debt in the future, and they will be able to graduate and not be derailed – so it’s really a win-win.”
For more information about Guardian Value Scholarships, contact 413-236-1641.

Founded in 1960, BCC was the first community college established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.