>Co-Lin getting funds to help affected students

Published 6:00 am Thursday, January 26, 2006

A federal program to help college students affected by HurricaneKatrina gives Copiah-Lincoln Community College approximately$300,000 to distribute among its young scholars.

“We don’t know how much of that we’ll actually claim,” said Dr.Howell Garner, president of Co-Lin. “We don’t have any idea howmuch of that we’ll actually need. I seriously doubt we’ll use allof that.”

The schools generally will not benefit from the fundingthemselves, Garner said. Co-Lin only serves as a facilitator inassisting students to receive the aid money.

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However, he said, schools can reimburse themselves for tuitionslost when a student’s tuition was refunded because they left theschool. The caveat is the refund must have been related toHurricane Katrina.

Co-Lin’s portion is only a small part of the $95 million infederal aid passed down through the state College Board.

The money was spread among 38 schools statewide. SouthwestMississippi Community College will receive $200,000 in theprogram.

Garner said he was “disappointed” in the way the federal moneywas labeled as Title Four funding, which can only benefit students.He said he had hoped it would be labeled as Title Seven funding,which would have given coast schools a means to replace lostrevenue from a destroyed tax base. Title Seven funds are used toreplace a loss in local revenue.

“This grant doesn’t touch the cost of the loss on the coast,”Garner said.

State and federal officials have expressed hopes that insuranceand Federal Emergency Management Agency grants would pay for schoolcampus damages.