GCCC Utilizing CARES Act Funds for Free Student Laptops

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GCCC

[Garden City, KS] May 26, 2020 – Garden City Community College is offering up to 150 new laptops at no cost to students who need reliable computer access for their studies.

The new laptops – Lenovo Thinkpads, valued at just under $500 each – will be made available to degree-seeking students who demonstrate substantial need through an online application.

Applications will be reviewed in June, and priority will be given to students who are enrolled in courses for both Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 by June 19, 2020. Students must be pre-enrolled in courses for Fall 2020 to be considered. Summer courses started May 26 and a second summer session of classes begins July 6, 2020.

As GCCC students were forced to transition to online learning in late March due to COVID-19, lack of access to quality computer and internet technology for many at-risk students became apparent to administrators and faculty. 

GCCC President Dr. Ryan Ruda said he is hopeful the laptop initiative will encourage returning and incoming students to move forward with their educational plans while alleviating some of the financial hardships these students have experienced in the wake of the public health crisis.

“At GCCC, we want to set students up for success and make sure they have the tools necessary to be reach their academic goals,” Dr. Ruda said. “We are hopeful offering reliable and portable computer access will lessen some of the financial burden that many of our students and their families are facing.”

GCCC courses are fully online for the summer and options for face-to-face classes, hybrid classes, and online or distance learning classes are currently being explored for the fall semester.

“We are committed to developing a plan that balances that commitment to safety with continuing our mission to help students reach their goals at an affordable cost,” Dr. Ruda said. “Regardless of delivery, GCCC promises an engaged, high-quality experience.”

Funding for the laptop initiative is made possible by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).

The total cost of the laptop initiative is under $75,000. GCCC has received about $1.36 million in funding from the CARES Act and HEERF-Minority Serving Institution funds, just under half of which has been distributed to eligible students as direct emergency grants.

One hundred laptops will be available for students in need for the first phase of the initiative. An additional 50 laptops may be made available for Fall 2020 students, depending on the demand and success of phase one. 

Both continuing and incoming GCCC students who intend to complete a degree or certificate at GCCC may apply for consideration. For more additional eligible requirements or to apply, visit https://www.gcccks.edu/covid-19/laptop_program.aspx.