When returning San Jacinto College student Tori Thomas learned she was eligible to receive the Finish Line Grant, she felt a weight lift off her shoulders.
"I wasn't sure what kinds of grants or scholarships I would qualify for, so I was very grateful knowing that I could start the LVN program without having to pay so much out of pocket," Thomas said.
The Finish Line Grant at San Jacinto College — also known as the Texas Reskilling Support Fund Grant Program — is funded by the College's allocation from The Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund. The program provides financial support, covering tuition costs for up to three semesters with a $2,500 max distribution per student.
"We understand these are challenging times, and students may be struggling to make the financial commitment to their educational goals due to the pandemic's impact on their job, home life, or college plans," says Dr. Sarah Janes, San Jacinto College associate vice chancellor of continuing and professional development. "This program allows the College to provide tangible financial support to ease the burden for our students and to help them cross the finish line toward earning their degree or certificate."
This fund targets students who have previously stopped out of any undergraduate institution, as well as displaced Texas workers who are looking to reskill and re-enter the workforce.
Thomas previously earned her associate degree at San Jac and, though she works full-time, wanted to reskill for better career opportunities.
"I want to show other young women that through discipline, prayer, and a routine you can accomplish your goals," Thomas said.
After putting educational plans on hold, Thomas was ready for a change.
"I've always wanted to work in the medical field, but I needed somewhere I could grow professionally and financially," Thomas said. "I found the [Finish Line] flyer on the San Jacinto College website, so I contacted the program for more information and to see if I was eligible."
Thanks to the Finish Line Grant, Thomas will attend the San Jac vocational nursing program in fall 2021.
The Finish Line Grant includes several credit programs in health sciences, business, education, technology, industrial technology, and two non-credit programs — phlebotomy and truck driving.
"I want other students to know that grants like this are not too good to be true," Thomas said. "It's worth sending that email or making that phone call to find out if you qualify. Don't be intimidated to try."
To learn more about scholarships and grants at San Jac, visit sanjac.edu/grants.