SOUTH HOLLAND, IL–It’s not too late to get registered and take advantage of a significant range of free resources at South Suburban College (SSC) this fall. In fact, returning to school or pursing one’s college dream for the first time is a “no-brainer,” according to college promotions.
“This is truly a unique time in our College history when most students literally are debt free, and in many cases plus direct financial assistance, and plus free laptops,” said Dr. Lynette Stokes, SSC President. “SSC has long provided comprehensive scholarship and tuition waiver packages to students, but this is much more and we want residents of our community to know they have an opportunity. We have worked really hard to secure and thoughtfully distribute multiple sources of funding to help our students manage this difficult year and be successful.”
Those additional funding sources available to students include CARES Act stimulus, several new grant initiatives, and Foundation-sponsored COVID-19 Impact Awards among others. In total, SSC has provided over $3,400,000 in tuition relief, personal checks and technology grants to students last fiscal year, and more is available.
Shanika Mack is a South Suburban College student who has made the best out of the challenges of the past year. “Losing my job forced me to step away and think about what’s important, like pursuing my bigger dreams,” said Mack, a 31-year old returning adult student who previously attended SSC immediately after graduating from Thornton High School. “The pandemic can take away my job but it can’t take away my education.”
Mack received a free laptop, free books, and will have her entire tuition balance waived at the end of the 2021 Summer Semester if she stays on track to receive a “C” or better. She is already enrolled for fall classes with plans to graduate with an Associate’s Degree in General Studies next spring. Mack hopes to pursue a Business Degree at Governor’s State University upon graduation.
According to SSC’s Business Office, 1,219 students have received $1,283,556 in tuition balances waived to date, and another 3,415 students received direct payments of $2,124,600 through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). An additional 141 students received $145,579 in debt relief and 415 students received $133,836 in technology – primarily laptops – through the CARES Act for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF). The SSC Foundation awarded $66,221.17 in COVID-19 funding for tuition, books, technology, and living expenses in addition to its traditional annual scholarship awards. Most recently, SSC initiated a new Student Emergency Aid Program through the Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) to provide financial support up to $500 per student for short-term, nonrecurring emergencies.
New South Suburban College Student Trustee, Dion Rubin, wants to encourage more students to come back to school. Rubin received a free laptop, hotspot and $950 in direct aid to date. “I have complete confidence in South Suburban College – the faculty have done an amazing job and I have felt extremely safe returning to campus.”
Rubin received his High School Equivalency (HSE) before pursuing his college education in the Fall 2020 Semester during the height of the pandemic. “My goal is to make the student experience the best it can be and to promote a positive educational culture. Positivity can do great things.”
Other opportunities for career program funding at SSC include the Workforce Equity Initiative (WEI) Grant, and the One Workforce Grant through the Calumet Area Industrial Commission (CAIC). The WEI grant provides wrap-around services including comprehensive financial assistance and academic support to participating students within a variety of program areas providing stackable credentials. Funding for the H-1B One Workforce Grant is provided by the US Department of Labor for tuition, fees and books in short-term advanced manufacturing programs with industry recognized credentials.
All of the funding, grant and programmatic information is available from ssc.edu. Fall classes will begin Monday, August 16, 2021, with the safety and flexibility of five modes of class delivery at SSC. Class schedules, registration services and a new “live chat” with staff are available at ssc.edu. Prospective students may also call (708) 210-5718 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get questions answered.