Kiwanis reaches out to college students

Debbie Sharp, Vice President of External Affairs of NCTC, applauds the KELP program.

Debbie Sharp, Vice President of External Affairs of NCTC, applauds the KELP program.

Vicki Baker

Preparing for college takes serious financial planning. Most students rely on a carefully balanced combination of scholarships, grants, loans and personal savings to fund their tuition costs. Unfortunately no amount of planning can guard against every contingency, and there are times when a student’s financial circumstances can suddenly change. Health care bills, a rise in rent and utilities, disruption of reliable transportation sources or a sudden reduction of work hours can all derail a student’s college career, only emotionally, but also financially.

When financial circumstances take a turn for the worse, many students feel they are left with only one option: leaving school and abandoning their dreams of a college education. Fortunately there is one financial aid program available to help students hang onto their college ambitions and ride out the current financial storm. That program is the Kiwanis Education Loan Program (KELP), which provides monies for loans to help students who are at risk.

Kiwanis Club Robson Ranch is now an active supporter of the pilot emergency financial aid program KELP and has contributed an initial $1,000 to launch the loan program at North Central Texas College, Corinth Campus. Each qualified student receives a $100 loan required to be repaid within 30 days. The funds are controlled, managed and administered at the discretion of the financial aid department of NCTC. Since these funds are not bound by any national or state requirements, the college has a high degree of flexibility in offering quick and immediate financial help for those students in need.

Community Colleges are a critical resource for people striving to improve their prospects in the labor market. Yet far too many community college students drop out without earning a credential as they face unexpected financial emergencies. Kiwanis Club is committed to funding strategies to help students accomplish their academic and personal goals and avoid the last resort of abandoning a promising college career.

Reaching out to those in need in our community is the primary mission of Kiwanis Club. If you share these goals come join Kiwanis Club Robson Ranch every first and third Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse. For more information contact Jim Galbraith at [email protected]