The STC grant provides free tuition or other expenses to students

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McALLEN — South Texas College’s board of trustees recently approved an $800 grant that students can use in the fall to pay for a free tuition or other expenses.

A college press release says the grants are being disbursed from federal COVID-19 relief funds.

“Our goal is to always make college accessible,” Larry Barroso, director of STC College Connections, wrote in the release. “These funds are there to help our students stay on track.”

To be eligible for funds, students must register for at least three credit hours and apply. If a student has already completed their free application for federal student aid and received a federal grant, the money will automatically be paid to them.

Dual-enrollment students are not eligible, the statement said, and funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Students can either apply the funds to their tuition or choose to receive them after semester census day to use for books, supplies or other necessities.

“We know all too well the challenges our students face,” STC Board Chair Rose Benavidez wrote in the statement. “Many of our residents are still struggling with uncertainty as the region recovers from a global pandemic and, sadly, for some this moves the pursuit of an education to the bottom of their priorities. We hope these funds will enable our students to continue moving forward to achieve their academic and professional goals.

One of those potential recipients of $800 is Jisel Muñoz, a Roma who is vice president of the Student Government Association and a student at the Starr County Campus Student Pantry.

Muñoz, who must take two additional courses to graduate, says the grant will put her in a financial position to do so.

“My family has gone from financial security to financial hardship over the past two years due to COVID-19,” she wrote in the statement. “I took advantage of every scholarship, free semester, and free tuition I could get to keep working toward my degree. Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am. It has been a sigh of relief and a tremendous help to my family. I’m so grateful.”

More information about the grant is available at stc.media/heerfII or by calling 1-855-GoToSTC.

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