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JACKSON — The Mississippi Community College Foundation has received a grant of $310,000 from the Woodward Hines Education Foundation to help qualifying Mississippi community college students impacted by COVID-19 stay on track towards graduation.

“These are difficult times for students who are trying to adjust to the many personal and educational challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Dr. Ronnie Nettles, executive director of the Mississippi Community College Foundation. “We are delighted to partner with the Woodward Hines Education Foundation to help these students.”

“We know that many of Mississippi’s community college students are already vulnerable to unexpected financial hurdles,” said Jim McHale, WHEF President and CEO. “We viewed this as an emergent opportunity to provide immediate financial support to Mississippi’s two-year college students impacted by COVID-19, so they would not be forced to put their education on hold for financial reasons.”

The grant will establish student relief funds at all 15 Mississippi community colleges. Money can be used to help students with the costs associated with in-home internet access, fuel cards, credential fee stipends, to establish campus tablet or computer loan programs, or other costs that may be a barrier to college completion.

Itawamba Community College President Dr. Jay Allen said he plans to use the money to ease the transition to online instruction for his students.

“While we know this transition has caused hardships on a number of our outstanding students, we are appreciative to the Woodward Hinds Education Foundation for believing in our mission and the communities we continue to serve,” Allen said. “These funds will assist our students move their educational efforts forward.”

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