BTC awarded Dash grant

Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) is one of 31 technical and community colleges in a four-state region to receive a Dash emergency grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation that will help financially strapped BTC students overcome financial obstacles that might otherwise cause them to drop out.

Blackhawk has received $38,700 from Great Lakes that will enable low-income students to apply for grants to help cover expenses just beyond their means, which allows them to quickly return focus to their academic pursuits. It is part of a $1.5 million grant program from Great Lakes.

“The Dash Emergency Grant Program through Great Lakes allows Blackhawk Technical College to better support our students,’’ said Elizabeth Horvath, the Director of Advancement and Community Relations at BTC. “The BTC Foundation is proud to offer assistance to students, and we want to ensure all students can complete their education, regardless of financial barriers.”

The Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation has made funds available to schools in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio. Dash is based on the success of an emergency grant program that Great Lakes piloted at the 16 schools of the Wisconsin Technical College System from 2012 to 2015.

More than 2,600 students received grants averaging $500 each in that time period. Of the students who received emergency grants, 73 percent either graduated or remained enrolled.

“Great Lakes is pleased to provide more resources to colleges like Blackhawk that are dedicated to supporting students in times of greatest need,” said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. “Emergency grants are a bridge to college completion and the financial security a degree can provide.”

Blackhawk will begin making student emergency grants of up to $500 each in spring 2016. Qualified expenses will be paid within 48 hours of an approved application. Students also will be referred to additional campus, community and financial literacy resources to supplement the grants, address root causes or contributing factors to the financial emergencies, and further support students’ persistence.

To serve greater numbers of students throughout the Great Lakes grant period and beyond, Blackhawk will contribute matching funds during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years.

“Our shared commitment is key to making emergency grant programs sustainable long-term,” said Amy Kerwin, Vice President – Community Investments at Great Lakes.

For more information or to pledge support to the BTC Foundation, please contact Elizabeth Horvath at (608) 757-7704.