$31,000 in federal funds allocated for BCCC students

Published 6:39 pm Friday, October 5, 2018

While Beaufort County Community College was relatively spared the damage suffered by some colleges and universities in eastern North Carolina during Hurricane Florence, in some cases, the school’s students and staff may not have been so fortunate.

For BCCC students impacted by the storm, financial assistance may be available.

On Oct. 2, the United States Department of Education announced that it would make approximately $2.8 million dollars available for students at 38 institutions in North and South Carolina who might be suffering financial difficulties in the wake of Hurricane Florence. BCCC is slated to receive $31,007.

“So many of our students have financial burdens already and have difficulties from an economic standpoint, so anything they can get to help them ease their financial burden and stay in school is very welcome,” BCCC President David Loope said.

This money, in turn, will be made available to students through the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, and can be used to cover tuition, fees and books.

“They can receive it, based on their eligibility, either this semester or next semester,” Loope said. “It could be that because of the storm, they have additional costs that make it difficult for them to stay on a payment plan for tuition. These grants will assist for students who have those kinds of issues.”

Loope went on to say that the college is still in the process of determining how many of its students, faculty and staff were impacted by the storm. In the short term, enrollment for the remainder of the semester has not taken a hit.

“We know that we have some students, faculty and staff who were affected, but so far it doesn’t seem to have impacted our enrollments,” Loope said. “That doesn’t mean that students weren’t affected by it in their personal lives, and that may carry over in their ability to persist at the college.”

According to a press release from the U.S. DOE, colleges have flexibility in administering these funds, but are required to give priority to students with exceptional financial needs, specifically those receiving federal Pell Grants.

In order to apply for these supplemental funds to continue their education, students must have already been accepted into the college and completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Students applying for these funds can contact BCCC Financial Aid Director Crystal Johnson at 252-940-6219.