COLUMBIA, S.C. — SCICU has renamed its emergency funding to students the “Student Lifeline Grants Program” to more accurately capture the initiative’s capacity to help students whose unexpected financial challenges might result in their dropping out.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered students and their families even more financially vulnerable, making Student Lifeline Grants all the more important,” said SCICU president and CEO Jeff Perez. “We are excited that the new name will help prospective donors appreciate the value of the program and enhance our already active fundraising.”
The Student Lifeline Grants program provides supplemental funding to financial aid directors at SCICU member colleges and universities for students at risk of dropping out due to unexpected financial circumstances.
“Donors tell us this rebranding more clearly communicates our goals of helping all students persist and complete their degrees,” said Eddie Shannon, SCICU executive vice president.
For the 2020-2021 fiscal year, SCICU’s board of trustees set a $100,000 goal for the Student Lifeline Grants program. This is a small increase over the 2019-2020 goal for SCICU’s Discretionary Scholarship Program.
During the 2019-2020 fiscal year, student retention scholarships and student emergency grants were a large focus for increased donations outside SCICU’s Discretionary Scholarship program.
Two major donors – S.C. Student Loan Corporation and the Council of Independent Colleges – helped SCICU raise an additional $80,000 for supplemental student financial aid.
SCICU was selected as the first recipient of Power:Ed grants from the S.C. Student Loan Corporation. The program provides $50,000 for distribution to SCICU’s 20 member colleges and universities to aid in student retention and student degree completion during the 2020-21 academic year.
The Council of Independent Colleges (cic.edu) challenged SCICU to raise $20,000 in new funds for a $10,000 matching grant to benefit the SCICU Discretionary Grants Program. With the support of signature sponsors Comporium, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, and Williams & Fudge, as well as other new or increased gifts, SCICU exceeded the 2-for-1 fundraising threshold required for the $10,000 CIC challenge grant.