By helping low-income students access public aid — food stamps, health insurance, housing and energy vouchers, child-care subsidies and the like — community colleges hope to improve retention and graduation. Single Stop, a national nonprofit, has partnered with colleges to set up offices on campus. Students also can use legal and financial counseling and free tax-preparation services.
Julio Cohen came with his father to the Single Stop office at Miami Dade College. Laid off as a construction surveyor—the boss kept the guys with degrees—he had decided to study architectural design. But he was thinking of giving up on college to help his father, who was struggling to care for a disabled wife.
Maria Rubios unemployment ran out. The foreclosure papers came in the mail. She couldnt afford medications for bipolar disorder, so she cut each pill in half. She decided to drop out of Miami Dades healthcare administration program. “You’re on the deans list,” a financial aid counselor said. “Wash your face, get some coffee, and be back here in half an hour. You need Single Stop.”
About to “purge” a student from the class roll, a professor first called Single Stop. Could someone call the students cell phone to ask why she had stopped attending?
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