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    College surprises students with $944 financial boost

    If you think you’re having a great day, talk to a few Lamar State College Port Arthur students and see just how great their Friday is going.

    Nearly 1,500 students at LSCPA are receiving $944 starting on Friday, October 22, thanks to money from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which was signed into law as part of the American Rescue Plan on March 11, 2021.

    “We’ve heard so many stories of people who continue to struggle because of the pandemic,” LSCPA President Dr. Betty Reynard said. “Some of our students have been faced with difficult decisions over the past nearly two years when they have to choose between their education and paying their bills, or putting food on the table.

    “We are thrilled to be able to provide this financial boost for our students,” she said.

    This money is part of the federal government’s effort to support institutions of higher education and, especially, their students. These funds were provided in addition to those authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security Act. Together, the federal pandemic support for institutions of higher education totals $76.2 billion.

    “The economic difficulties caused by COVID is an everyday reality for our students and their families,” Dean of Student Services Dr. Tessie Bradford said. “To be able to give 1,457 of our students nearly $1,000 each is so satisfying. This grant is as much a blessing to the faculty and staff of Lamar State College Port Arthur because we are already hearing about how the money is changing the lives of our students.”

    An email was sent out initially on Wednesday, October 21, explaining that processing of the funding would start on Friday, October 22, through the college’s Business Office.

    The response from students was almost immediate:

    “Oh my gosh!! Thank you!!! You have no idea how this is an answered prayer this week. I’ve been praying over things and not sure how I was going to manage for myself and my children. It has been a such a struggle and I’ve tried to hang on.”

    “Thank you so much! This really will help me as I had to cut my hours at work tremendously in order to be successful in my courses. This means a lot to me and really has made my day. Again, thank you so much!”

    “OMG. Thank you so much. This means a lot to me. I literally cried. A group of us were sitting together and received your email and we all jumped up in excitement.”