College Triples Student Emergency Loan Fund
Western Piedmont Community College students who find themselves in dire financial circumstances that could result in them dropping out are not without hope. Western Piedmont Foundation provides a limited pool of funds for short-term, no interest loans. The J. Alex and Vivian Mull Foundation established the fund in 2002 and private donations of $20,000 during the 2009-2010 Annual Giving Campaign tripled the size of the fund.
Enrollment at the college increased nearly 40-percent since the Mull Foundation established the fund in 2002 and additional funds were needed to serve the growing student population. Each year, the College contacts students who withdraw from their courses without completing their program of study. The number one reason cited by students is financial problems. The Foundation expanded the student emergency loan fund to provide loans to help students cover personal expense emergencies that threaten their ability to complete coursework each semester.
Short-term loans are available to students who need help paying for tuition, fees, and textbooks during registration. Eligible students may apply for these loans and can use the program only once. After the regular registration period, eligible students may request a loan for other emergencies such as eviction, utility cut-offs, transportation repair, and others approved by a College appointed committee. In every instance the need should be one that would result in the student dropping out of courses if not resolved. A student is limited to a total of three short term loans during their college tenure for these other emergency requests.
To be considered for the loan, the applying student will demonstrate ability to repay the loan within the required 60‑day payback period, be a North Carolina resident qualifying for in-state tuition rates, and have at least six College credit hours. Other factors determining the student’s eligibility include current academic standing, past loan transactions, and financial standing with the College business office.
Helping meet student emergency needs is only one of many ways Western Piedmont Foundation assists students. For more information about the Foundation and the different areas in which donations may be made, contact Western Piedmont Foundation at 448-3122.