North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has provided nearly $5 million in textbooks, e-book vouchers and laptop bundles to students with economic need. The funds came from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
NCCU allocated approximately $2.5 million in book vouchers to 3,600 undergraduate students, to cover the cost of their textbooks and e-books.
For some students, receiving funds will allow them to focus more on studies without the financial burden of purchasing books.
“Purchasing books for classes are expensive, but with the book voucher I've been able to purchase all of my books this semester and become more confident than ever that I’ll be successful in my courses,” said Manuhe Abebe, a sophomore Mass Communication student.
University assistance went to students whose expected family contribution to college costs was estimated at below $6,000 by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program. Eligible full-time students were provided up to $750 dollars in vouchers, with part-time students receiving $400.
“Without the appropriate materials needed for courses, the projection for academic success is lessened,” said Akua J. Matherson, chief financial officer and vice chancellor for Administration and Finance at NCCU. “In addition to providing a quality education, with this funding, NCCU is able to assure equal access to course literature and technology for students in need.”
The university also purchased 2,250 laptop bundles distributed through NCCU’s Information Technology Services (ITS). The bundles, valued at $2.4 million dollars, included laptops with four-year warranties and tech support, an NCCU-branded sports backpack, and a USB headset.
The laptops went to currently enrolled first-time students, including full-time freshmen, transfer students, graduate students, law students and doctoral students.
“NCCU’s ITS Client Services Department has worked diligently to create bundles for students, as this project directly supports student success at NCCU,” said Patrice Walker, director of ITS Client Services. “If students are equipped with items needed to pursue a college degree, they are sure to be successful TechnoScholars.”