W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Supports Peirce College Student Emergency Fund

May 14, 2021, 12:29 PM by Amanda Hill
W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Supports Peirce College Student Emergency Fund

$15,000 Grant to Help with Students with Basic Needs

– The W.W. Smith Charitable Trust has awarded a $15,000 grant to support Peirce College’s Student Emergency Assistance Fund to help adults forced to choose between food, housing and other essential needs and remaining in college to advance their careers. 

In a recent survey, 72% of Peirce students reported that they have experienced at least one basic human needs challenge in the past year. The most pressing needs are housing and food insecurity.

“The pandemic has compounded the need for student support like never before, and institutions of higher education, especially those focused on serving adults, must find ways to help students overcome personal hardships and provide for their families while they focused on completing their education,” said Dr. Mary Ellen Caro, president & CEO of Peirce College. “We are honored to receive this gift from the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust, which will support students cover their basic needs – and continue to pursue their goals.”

The average age of a Peirce student is 36, and more than 70% of students at Peirce are women and more than 70% of students are people of color. Peirce, which is designated as a Minority Serving Institution, is Philadelphia’s only college or university dedicated exclusively to serving adults.  

Providing emergency aid to students in need has made a positive impact at Peirce.

So far this year, 88% of the students who received assistance have enrolled in the next term, and their average GPA is 3.02. 

The gift from the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust is being used by Peirce students to cover the cost of food, clothing, and basic needs for their children. 

“We are proud to help children grow up healthy and safe, and to help their families achieve social mobility,” said Brian Jones, basic needs grant administrator at the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust.  “Our partnership with Peirce College will help break the cycle of poverty in Philadelphia.”

Media Contact:

Joe Guzzardo

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