With two family members of the Davila family furloughed from their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Frank Davila worried his studies in the Respiratory Care program at Texas Southmost College would come to a halt.
He said funding he received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and additional financial relief from TSC’s Comprehensive Care Package now means he can continue his studies this summer and stay on track to graduate.
Since the grant’s disbursement on May 8, TSC has awarded $1,192,200 in CARES Act funds to 2,983 students.
“I can’t thank TSC enough for caring for its students and community,” said the Brownsville native. “I appreciate the help they are giving. This money means a lot more than they know for a student like me.”
Davila’s temporary furlough meant he could no longer save money for books, his uniform or equipment required for summer classes.
“Both my dad and I were out of a job. Only my mom was working, which meant we had to pinch pennies to make sure we had enough for necessities such as bills and food,” said the 22-year-old. “So without the assistance TSC has provided, it would have been difficult to continue my education; but fortunately, I’m now set.”
“We know that during this time our students are facing financial hardships due to the pandemic,” said TSC President Jesús Roberto Rodríguez. “Through these funds approved by the Board of Trustees, we hope to alleviate some of that stress. Here at TSC, we are always pursuing ways of providing assistance to our students.”
TSC Board of Trustees Chair Adela G. Garza shares the same sentiment and said the college’s financial relief packages were designed to help all families dealing with uncertainty like the Davilas.
TSC Vice President of Finance and Administration Gisela Figueroa said the college expects to distribute another $600,000.
“We’re still waiting for students to fill out their FAFSA, which documents they meet eligibility requirements to receive federal funding. Students who meet this eligibility, regardless of income, will receive CARES Act funding. We expect to cut more checks as those applications come in,” she said. “We also expect to distribute additional funds during the summer.”
In addition to the federal funds, the TSC Board of Trustees also approved a Comprehensive Care Package, which includes the Take 6 On Us initiative.
Through the Take 6 On Us initiative, TSC will waive 100% of tuition and fees for up to six summer credit hours for Texas resident students who reside in the college taxing district, and waive 50% of tuition and fees for up to six summer credit hours for all Texas residents who reside outside the TSC taxing district.
Registration for Summer and Fall 2020 is underway.
Rodriguez encourages all Texans to use the summer months to knock out some classes at TSC, whether students are continuing their studies or entering college for the first time.
“There has never been a better time to be a Scorpion,” he said.
For more information about TSC, visit tsc.edu.