The U.S. Department of Education has once again shown its support for the successful College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) at St. Edward’s University with a $2.1 million grant.
The grant will distribute $425,000 every year through June 2020.
Last year, the DOE did not fund CAMP at St. Edward’s but the university kept its commitment to pay for each student’s first year of college.
During the interim, donors and alumni rallied raising $460,000 (and counting) to support incoming CAMPers during the 2014-2015 academic year. Their support demonstrated the value of the program.
A student qualifies for CAMP if they are a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and shows that migrant or seasonal farm work is their family’s primary source of income.
Since its creation in 1972, CAMP at St. Edward’s University has helped approximately 2,800 migrant students. About 35 incoming freshmen migrant students enroll each year.
President George E. Martin said community and government support ensures CAMP's progress.
"We're delighted to have renewed funding of our CAMP program from the Department of Education," Martin said. "Support from our community, donors and CAMP alumni when we did not have funding last year ensured the program would not lose its footing. Their ongoing advocacy emphasizes the university's continued commitment to CAMP’s long-term success at St. Edward’s."
CAMP also received a challenge grant from Hughes Abell, St. Edward's University Board of Trustees vice chair and his wife, Betsy, MAC '08. They pledged to give $3 for every $1 donated by CAMP alumni.
Esther Yacono, CAMP director, said financial support from donors remains critical because grants and gifts help pay for more than tuition. Funds also go toward health insurance, university fees and support services such as peer mentoring and academic counseling.
"Support for them doesn't end their first year,” Yacono said. “We're committed to them the entire time they are at St. Edward’s."