Valley offers emergency funds for students

Valley College is giving out emergency funds through a program called Edquity, but the system failed some students who claim they need it most.

By Edward Segal, Valley Life Editor

Edquity, in association with Valley, is offering grants to students who qualify as needing them the most. (Graphic Illustration | Matthew Royer)

Valley College students in dire financial straits may qualify for funds provided by Edquity, a company dedicated to providing cash grants to those in need.

Edquity has offered support to community college students all semester, while Valley promotes it in their weekly newsletters. Edquity advertises its mission to help students with financial difficulties to graduate college and support their families. Financial support is even available to students taking non-credit courses. There is no limit to how many semesters people can apply, as they can qualify even if they received money last semester.

“We still have free emergency-based needs and funds available for students,” said Valley President Barry Gribbons during a town hall meeting on Monday. “Students do, of course, have to be currently registered.”

During the meeting, Gribbons told students to look at the COVID-19 updates on the Valley Weekly newsletter. The newsletter, which is emailed to all students, provides more information on applying for Edquity financial support.

Edquity has increased the number of funds it offers throughout the nation since the start of the pandemic due to rising rates of financial hardship. The company’s financial assistance increased further after Congress passed a bill in April 2021 giving it $40 billion for higher education.

According to Michelson 20MM, a foundation supporting “education and higher learning,” $5 billion went to California, with community colleges receiving a portion of the money and $2.5 billion given directly to students in the form of emergency grants.

However, some students in need have had difficulties in qualifying for these funds.

An attendee at Monday’s town hall by the username of Alex Farve Entezami said they did not qualify for emergency funds despite their living situation.

“Living on a friend’s couch and not having an income is not enough to qualify?” they asked in the comment section.

Gribbons did not know of any issues with Edquity but directed students to be patient while staff began the process of reaching out to them directly.

“Our staff will get in contact with [students] to find out what challenges they had,” said Gribbons. “We will find out what happened to the students who didn't get their applications approved.”

Gribbons suggested other resources that provide more information.

“For everyone’s benefit, we have a lot of resources available for homeless students, as well as food-insecure students,” said Gribbons. “A great way to find out more information is to connect with Helping Hands or the student services welcome center.”

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