Helios Education Foundation, College Success Arizona distribute emergency relief funds to over 700 college students - AZEdNews
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Helios Education Foundation, College Success Arizona distribute emergency relief funds to over 700 college students


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  • Rebecca Lindgren/ Helios Education Foundation and   |   Maura Keaney/ College Success Arizona

Emergency Relief Fund For College Students. Graphic By Helios Education Fund And College Success Arizona

Since the launch of the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund, Helios Education Foundation and College Success Arizona distributed over $300,000 in emergency relief funds to more than 700 students across Arizona to help provide immediate assistance to college students affected by COVID-19.

These funds assisted with educational expenses, housing expenses, technology expenses, as well as other immediate needs.

Helios and College Success Arizona created the fund to help low-income and first-generation college students in need of support to continue their education during the pandemic.

College Success Arizona and Helios Education Foundation Resiliency Fund Update

COVID-19 and its economic repercussions have disproportionately affected minorities, and over 90 percent of the funding recipients are minority students. 

“Low-income, first-generation and minority students will need continued support through this pandemic. The economic effects of COVID-19 are negatively affecting their means of supporting themselves through school, and also taking devastating tolls on their families,” said Rich Nickel, President and CEO of College Success Arizona. “These are the students who, in the best of times, face challenges that make it less likely they will complete their postsecondary studies. The pandemic has compounded those challenges.”

These funds helped hundreds of Arizona students continue their education to summer and fall classes.

More than 40 percent of recipients were able to cover multiple expenses needed to support their education.

Recipients used funds to help cover medical expenses for family members, buy groceries and well as cover tuition after they or their families have lost their jobs.

“Our hope is to provide students with a measure of relief, stability, and support that will enable them to continue with their education and, ultimately, graduate. The funds we’ve distributed thus far have gone a long way to make that happen, and we will continue to support students in the ways that they need to succeed,” said Paul Luna, President and CEO of the Helios Education Foundation.

The hope is to extend funding support to 1,500 students. College Success Arizona administers the fund and it is available for students working with existing partner organizations focused on postsecondary student success across Arizona.

So far, students enrolled at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Arizona, as well as numerous community colleges throughout the state, have received funds.

For more information about partner programs and eligibility requirements, please visit www.collegesuccessarizona.org.

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