TUCSON, Ariz. — College students in a pandemic may be wondering if they will be able to a navigate a new world of online learning. They may also be wondering if they can afford the classes and equipment they need.
“It's always the most exciting time of the year the start of the fall semester,” said Pima Community College Spokesperson Libby Howell.
She says they wanted to make sure students were prepared for a year with a whole new set of challenges.
“We have purchased about $2.6 million worth of laptops, tablets and hotspots to allow students who don’t have computers to check them out,” she said.
About 600 students have checked out equipment so far.
“I have my friends that are still at Pima right now that were provided those laptops and it's helped them a lot, because it didn’t have to come out of their own pocket,” said PCC Student Zenen Solazar. “And they could still afford the school and go to classes even if it's just online.”
Solazar is headed to Northern Arizona University next semester. He recently took a student success course that PCC is now offering for free this year. Data shows students who take the course achieve more academic success.
“Anything that requires application deadlines, payment deadlines, student social involvement like intermurals,” he said.
The school is also offering a $100 rebate for self-paying students who persist through their fall studies.
“We want them to feel good about coming back to school, that they are making progress towards reaching their goals, and they are safe in doing so,” said Howell.