But First, HEERF: Steps to Fund Your College Education

TMCC student on cell phone.
Rebecca A. Eckland

Have you been struggling? Online learning, studying, and working from home compounded by other factors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic made last year especially difficult. You might have even considered putting a pause or a complete stop on your education in order to make ends meet. 

That’s why we put together this handy guide to help you locate and secure resources that can not only help you to continue your educational journey with us, but that can keep you going strong to reach your ultimate personal and professional goals. After all, higher education will offer its challenges along the way, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. 

The following resources are not only designed to help you succeed, but more importantly, they are completely free. If this past year left you with little to no resources, you can continue your certificate or degree program. All it will take is a few minutes of your time to fill out a few applications and to make appointments with our staff. 

So, what are you waiting for? Read on for the details of how you can make the 2021–2022 academic year the one in which you reached your goals and milestones.  Follow these five easy steps to set yourself up for success in Fall 2021.

Five Steps to Success in Fall 2021

  1. But first, HEERF. HEERF, a.k.a., the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, can provide you, a TMCC student, with up to $1500 to support you as you continue your academic journey. These funds can be used to defray the cost of tuition, books, supplies related to your certification or degree program, housing or emergency expenses related to the pandemic. These expenses could be health care (medical or mental health care, to name a few examples), or child care. The application takes only minutes to complete and can be done completely online. Funds for qualified applicants will be available on August 13, 2021.
  2. Don’t forget the FAFSA. You’ve probably heard about the FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before. However, if you haven’t filled out this application, you are probably missing out on grants, scholarships and work-study opportunities that are also available to you at no cost and that can help you as you pursue a certificate or degree. If you have questions about the FAFSA, our team of financial aid experts are available to help you, either virtually, on the phone or in person. 
  3. Ask academic advising. While we often equate with more being better, sometimes more really is just more. That’s certainly true with college classes. Make sure you’re taking the ones that matter to your certificate or degree program by scheduling an appointment with our academic advising office. An academic advisor can make sure that you’re taking the classes you need and at the right time. 
  4. Check with Counseling. In addition to the supports listed above, the TMCC Counseling Center has a number of support programs for students who are degree-seeking and are: low income, justice-involved, former foster youth, an individual with a disability, single parents, homeless, English-language learners, or pregnant, to name a few examples. In addition to these support programs, the Counseling Center can also refer you to other free supports, including our on-campus food pantry, Wizard’s Warehouse, or mental health support.
  5. Build your community. Pursuing a certificate or degree—and the career of your choice—is no small thing. The good news: you don’t have to go on that journey alone. There are so many resources at TMCC that can help to support you. Looking for a job that will complement your academic schedule? The Career Hub can help you to take the first step. Are you struggling in class and need accommodations to help you succeed? Stop by the Disability Resource Center to see how they can help you. Need to find like-minded individuals? Join the Student Government Association, a Recognized Student Organization, or hang out in the DISCO (Diversity and International Student Center and Office) to meet other students from near and far who call TMCC “home.” 

Don’t Wait... Start Now

If you have just five minutes to spare, follow these five easy steps to make sure your Fall 2021 semester is as successful as it can be. There are resources—and grant dollars—available to help you. Now more than ever is the time to pursue your personal and professional dreams.

For more information about HEERF and other financial aid opportunities available to TMCC students, contact Financial Aid at 775-673-7072.