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Kirkwood Community College expands opportunities for students after receiving federal grant

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 5:01 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - More students who might not otherwise be able to go to college will now be able to, thanks to a federal grant Kirkwood Community College received.

Erica Barroso is a student at Kirkwood Community College, and the first in her family to go to college.

After graduating from high school, she enrolled in TRIO, which is a federal program to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds go to college.

“They helped me with some grants, and I’ve also been helped with, like since I want to transfer to a university, I got to meet with Mount Mercy, and I’m looking forward to that,” Barroso said.

Now Kirkwood will be able to keep helping more students like Barroso. The renewed federal grant totals $2.5 million over five years.

Kirkwood President Lori Sundburg says it targets groups of students who might typically not see college as an option.

“It typically targets disadvantaged populations like low income maybe first generation of college, and so I’m super excited because grants like these can really be transformative to a college,” Sundburg said.

It’s not just for helping to afford college, high school and junior high students will also get help in planning for college.

Sundburg knows first-hand that the help can be critical.

“I went back to college as a non-tradition student and so at the time when I went back I can remember thinking just being overwhelmed, I was first generation too,” Sundburg said. “Trying to navigate all of that and so with this program, you have help.”

It’s help that students like Barroso are using to realize a brighter future.

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