The cost of a college education can be intense for any family, but for those who suffered the loss of home, car or income due to the July 19 tornado, the idea may seem like a lost dream. Already, Marshalltown Community College has received notice from students who have withdrawn from fall term classes due to their financial situation following the tornado.
To assist students in bridging the financial gap created by last month’s disaster and to reach out to potentially new students who lost jobs or income, MCC has created a web page called MarshalltownRecovery.com. The page identifies short-term career and professional training courses through Iowa Valley Continuing Education, short-term and degree-related training through Marshalltown Community College, and a variety of financial resources that may be able to help students achieve their career and academic goals.
Jessica Garcia completed MCC’s Medical Assisting program last year and is enrolled in the Practical Nursing program this fall. The home she shares with her three-year-old son was damaged by the tornado and requires repairs, so she contacted MCC to discuss her college financing. She is now the recipient of a scholarship from the MCC Foundation that will cover a full semester’s tuition … and she’s not the only one.
“I’m grateful that I can still go forward with my education even with the damage to our home,” says Garcia. “We had to get a window air conditioner because the central air unit was damaged. My roof needs repairs, as well as siding and broken windows, but those material things can slowly be replaced. I’m not quite ready for classes to begin yet, but thanks to this scholarship I am definitely looking forward to my future!”
With MCC fall term classes starting Monday, Aug. 27, there’s less than three weeks remaining to seek assistance and enroll. MCC Dean of Enrollment & Student Life Angie Redmond says students should contact the Admissions Office ASAP to discuss their options.
“We’re open Monday through Friday from 8 to 4:30, but we’ll make evening and weekend appointments to accommodate our students,” says Redmond. “We understand that some people might have to delay their enrollment due to fallout from the tornado, but we want them to know that if finances are the main barrier, there are options they may not yet know about. We will be doing everything in our power to help students secure the resources to begin or continue their studies as planned.”
The MCC Foundation’s mission is to assist worthy and needy students who want to attend MCC, so it has established a fund that will go toward bridging the financial gap for students impacted by the July 19 tornado. Garcia and two other students have received such scholarships, enabling them to continue their educations.
“For families who have already lost so much, we hope to give them back their dream of college and a brighter career future for the student in their household,” says Carol Geil, MCC Foundation Executive Director. “If you are a student who has experienced financial hardship due to the tornado, please contact your academic advisor or the Foundation office to determine how much assistance may be available for you. Depending on your circumstances, we can offer up to full tuition paid for your fall semester.”
Donors wishing to contribute to these scholarship funds are encouraged to donate online at and designate “Tornado” for the fund. Donors can also contact Geil for more information at 641-844-5747 or . Gifts to the MCC Foundation are always tax-exempt.