Vista: November 2022

Small dollars can make a big impact

Did you know that approximately 3 million U.S. students leave college each year due to a small, unexpected expense—such as a medical bill or car breakdown?

That’s why Greater Texas Foundation launched the Texas Emergency Aid Roadmap program, a three-year, $1.5 million grant program to help ten community colleges across the state develop efficient, equitable, and sustainable emergency aid programs to ensure students receive the support they need to persist through financial crises. 

Could your institution come up with $500 in one day to help a student cover an unexpected expense so they can stay enrolled? With consulting support from Reos Partners, the participating schools are creating emergency aid programs that do just that, with dedicated funding, streamlined processes, and responsive teams.

One year into the Roadmap program, our new Emergency Aid Case Studyreveals:
  • Hallmarks of an effective emergency aid program
  • Profiles of two participating community colleges–what they’ve learned and what they will do next to refine and sustain their programs

Grantmaking Update

Over the years, Greater Texas Foundation has awarded more than $121 million in grants to changemakers in Texas education. Since our last newsletter, we’ve approved grants to the following organizations:

Empower Schools

Building a model for rural collaborations in the Permian Basin

Dallas Foundation

Reaching more students with the Rural College Promise Program

Grantee Spotlight: Rural Student Success Initiative supports Spurger ISD

In August 2022, Greater Texas Foundation increased its support of the Rural Student Success Initiative with an additional grant of $620,000.

RSSI leverages Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s place-based platform to develop meaningful partnerships with rural ISDs and their local communities. In this recent video, see how the Rural Student Success Initiative helps students in Spurger, Texas, envision a path to higher education.

What We’re Reading Now

Foundation staff recommends these recent publications:

The 2021 Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) takes a deeper look at the challenges of housing and food insecurity among community college students. With 29% of respondents classified as food insecure and 14% classified as housing insecure, these findings shed light on the need for colleges to more actively help students meet their basic needs.

Preliminary data from the National Student Clearinghouse shows that declining enrollment is still a challenge in higher education. Starting in Fall 2020, over 1 million fewer students enrolled in college. The decline has slowed in the last year, but the trend has not yet been reversed.

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