Ohio Community College Gets $2 Million to Help Students With Housing
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
- City officials in Columbus, Ohio, announced $2 million for Columbus State Community College's student housing assistance program.
- More than 400 students at Columbus State have received housing information and support as part of its Success Bridge pilot program since it launched in 2020.
- That program has provided short-term and one-time financial assistance to students. And it also has placed students in apartments.
- Success Bridge has shown promise in helping students secure permanent housing.
More than 400 students at Ohio's Columbus State Community College have received housing information and support as part of a pilot program that kicked off during the beginning of the pandemic — and now, the school will receive $2 million to continue that key support initiative.
Community colleges serve as key access points to affordable higher education in their communities. But community college students disproportionately struggle with food and housing insecurity, leading to barriers as they try to finish their education.
Columbus State began addressing basic needs insecurity among its students in 2020 with its Success Bridge pilot program, which was supported by $1.5 million from the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and private donors, according to a press release. The program has since served hundreds of students with both housing information and direct grants, including 57 students who received one-time and short-term financial assistance, and 33 who were placed in apartments specifically for program participants.
That short-term housing assistance saw success, with the majority of students who were placed in program apartments eventually finding permanent housing.
That successful pilot program will now become a permanent fixture at Columbus State, with Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and City Council President Shannon Hardin, both Democrats, announcing that the city would provide the school with $2 million to extend the program beyond its pilot phase.
"All of our students deserve the opportunity to advance their future without fear of financial hardship," Hardin said in the release.
Ginther said the program would boost equity by providing students with stable housing.
"In Columbus, housing should never hinder education or personal growth," Ginther said in the release. "By guaranteeing that college students have access to safe and stable housing, we are investing in their future and empowering them to focus on their studies and dreams without the stress and fear caused by housing instability."
The grant comes after Columbus State received $1 million from the U.S. Department of Education to support food and transportation access.
Columbus State has a lengthy track record of helping students with basic needs and food insecurity, as well as the wider community.
The college's Mid-Ohio Market offers a wide variety of goods to both students and community members who have a household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level. That food bank serves as a vital lifeline for community members and students in an area with few affordable options.