2 Houston universities receive combined $2M grant to help students experiencing financial hardships from US Dept. of Education

UHD and UHCL students (Photo provided by the University of Houston-Clear Lake)

HOUSTON – Two Houston-area universities receive a major grant from the U.S. Department of Education to help students with basic needs hardships.

Financial assistance will be expanded to students who are experiencing food, transportation, medical and other hardships through their Basic Needs Program.

This measure will help ensure the success of their students and provide them the ability to continue their education and an opportunity to become leaders in the community.

“Our university’s commitment to supporting the basic needs of our students is a testament to our belief in their potential and it’s an investment in their success,” said UH-Clear Lake President Richard Walker.

“By ensuring access to basic needs, such as food, housing, transportation, medical care, and technology, we empower students to focus on their studies and reach their full academic and personal potential,” said UHD President Loren J. Blanchard. “This grant will allow us to create a Basic Needs Center to build an evidence base for how the university will provide students social services support in the future.”

For the University of Houston-Clear Lake, this grant will help reduce stress for their students and provide them with the support these students deserve. The grant is all about the students with hopes to increase healthier academic achievements, less strain on the mind, awarding technology that is needed, and overall change the campus culture for the better.

Even with the Hawk Emergency Funds, there are still limitations.

Kristi Randolph Simon, UHCL Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Student Advocacy said, “A student can only apply once in their academic career. But with this grant, we have something more substantial to assist students to fill in those gaps when it comes to their basic needs.”

Students only need to demonstrate a hardship, not an emergency. If students can provide documentation of things like a past-due rent notice or have the inability to pay for an urgent car repair, we can use these grant funds to assist them,” continued Randolph Simon.

For UHCL many lives will be changed for the better with this grant and students will be able to breathe and attend properly.

“Enhancing Student Success” is the goal of the University of Houston-Downtown.

Helping their students and meeting the needs of their students is all that UHD is about.

Recently UHD conducted a basic needs survey with 39% of students struggling to pay for their utility bills, while 36% of students are struggling to pay off their rent or mortgages.

“With nearly one in three UHD students responsible for caring for a dependent, emergency dependent care is critical to support their success,” stated Lynette Cook-Francis, UHD Interim Vice President for Student Success and Student Life.

For more information visit UHCL.edu and/or UHD.edu