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Cook County Higher Ed awarded Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation grant

Aug 17, 2018 05:24AM ● Published by Editor

By Karen Blackburn from the Cook County News Herald - August 17, 2018

Cook County Higher Education (CCHE) has received an $80,000 grant from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation for the 2018-2019 school year. The grant is comprised of two components: a $30,000 grant for tuition scholarships for Cook County residents enrolled in long distance post-secondary degree or certificate programs and a $50,000 grant to support CCHE’s student support services. 

Currently, CCHE is working with over 50 students who are currently taking on-line or ITV classes while continuing to work and live in Cook County. Long distance students want to continue their education, but often the cost and upheaval of moving to a community with a bricks and mortar school is too daunting. As an alternative, they enroll in long distance education programs. CCHE and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation want to support their decision to remain in Cook County while pursuing their dream of higher education. To that end, the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation has granted $100,000 for tuition scholarships over the past 4 years and another $30,000 this year.

The tuition grants are administered by CCHE’s Scholarship committee, which is comprised of CCHE board members and interested community members. Scholarship applications are accepted until July 1st for fall classes and November 6th for spring classes.
This summer, CCHE received 9 scholarship applications and was able to provide tuition help for each applicant. Scholarships were offered to Victoria Marguitova, Briana Varnum, Thomas Young, Shannon Craig, Faith Sjoberg, Jordan Ekroot, Judy Schmidt, Erin Petz and Patricia Meyer. These students are enrolled in six different institutions: Lake Superior College, Itasca Community College, Mesabi Range Community & Technical College, Colby Community College, the College of St. Scholastica and Excelsior College. Their areas of study include RN/LPN, Human Services, Early Childhood Development, Dental Hygiene, Graduate Teaching Licensure, Veterinary Technician and Pilot. All of this education can be put to good use in Cook County.

The second half of the scholarships will be distributed in December for the spring term. Residents interested in going back to school via long distance education should consider applying. Students do not need to have a prior relationship with CCHE to access the funds. The scholarship application reads “Eligible applicants must live in Cook County and be enrolled in a degree, diploma or certificate program of at least 14 credits (total credits – not simultaneously). Maximum scholarship is $3,000 per year (max $10,000 cumulative).”

The second component of the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation’s generous grant funds CCHE’s student services programming. At the Cook County Higher Education building, long distance students have 24-hour access to computers, Internet, study space and ITV equipment. Higher Ed’s student services coordinator, Sarah Stover, provides on site advocacy for any student who needs support.

When students are on a physical campus, they can ask questions, get support and rely on college staff to help them navigate the system. Ms. Stover assists any post secondary student in Cook County with program research, completing applications, course scheduling, filing for financial aid, on-line course orientation and proctoring exams. She connects student with free mentor services and advocates for them when they encounter difficulties.

All of these services are free to the student and supported by the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation’s grant. For more information about CCHE services or scholarships, please contact Karen Blackburn, Executive Director at (218) 387-3411.
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