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OneMain Financial Presents $25,000 Check to Davidson County Community College

Davidson County Community College

THOMASVILLE — Representatives of OneMain Financial presented Davidson County Community College with a $25,000 check in recognition for its efforts to develop effective financial empowerment programs for students.

The check came after DCCC won the 2018 Community College Financial Empowerment Award at the 2018 Achieving the Dream Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in February.

“We were really impressed with the work that DCCC is doing and how it has created a process that is being piloted at other community colleges across North Carolina,” said Trish Weaver, vice president of corporate communications and philanthropy for OneMain. “DCCC’s metrics also made them stand out.”

At the check presentation, three students shared insights from their experience attending DCCC.

The programs highlighted as part of the award included Single Stop, a national initiative that connects students with non-academic services that assist with housing, transportation, food, child care, food stamps, Medicaid, tax services, legal services and financial counseling.

“There are many factors that prevent a student from completing,” said college President Mary Rittling. “As an institution that puts students first, we can’t turn a blind eye to their needs. Our goal is to see them successfully complete their program of study and go on to accomplish the career path they desire.”

In 2017, 91 percent of DCCC students who used Single Stop continued to enroll in courses.

The college has also seen success in its College Transition Center, one of the services having garnered the award. In 2015, DCCC introduced a model to help students needing additional courses in reading and math. The changes saved students money through reduced or free rates and saved students time with flexible course options.

“We’re incredibly proud of the students that come through our College Transition Center,” said director Susan Huneycutt. “It’s been rewarding to see the developmental math success rates rise to 90.3 percent.”

The North Carolina Community College System will pilot a similar model in 19 institutions including Forsyth Tech and Guildford Tech this fall, with an anticipated rollout to all colleges in the future.

“Walking through the doors of the College Transition Center each day and seeing the inspirational quotes and getting the support from the teachers encouraged me to stick with it,” said student Ellenne Pring.

“The instructors truly care and give you their all,” said student Vadanand Roopnarine. “The College Transition Center has helped prepare me to pursue my goal of earning an associate in arts degree before continuing my education to pursue a career as an electronics engineer.”

The final tenant of the award involved using a third-party software that all student loan borrowers are automatically enrolled in. The EX$EL program offers online financial literacy and repayment solutions that encourage planning, budgeting and responsible borrowing.

Through the program, DCCC has served more than 5,000 students in the past three years. EX$EL contributed to a 4 percent decrease in the student loan default rate, from 22 percent to 18 percent for the 2011 and 2015 cohorts.

DCCC plans to use the award to continue efforts to promote financial stability among students.

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