Program Steers Struggling Students to Benefits That Help Them Stay in College

Program Steers Struggling Students to Benefits That Help Them Stay in College 1

Randy Monceaux

Brian F. Smith signed up for the program last fall at Pennsylvania's Northampton Community College, one of seven institutions participating. The benefits it helped him find, he says, have "taken a lot of pressure off" as he works toward his second try at a college degree.

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close Program Steers Struggling Students to Benefits That Help Them Stay in College 1

Randy Monceaux

Brian F. Smith signed up for the program last fall at Pennsylvania's Northampton Community College, one of seven institutions participating. The benefits it helped him find, he says, have "taken a lot of pressure off" as he works toward his second try at a college degree.

When Brian F. Smith started classes at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa., last fall, the 43-year-old was unemployed and living alone in a nearby shelter for homeless veterans. His first attempt at college, back in 1987, hadn't gone well; drugs, alcohol, and the streets occupied him more than his college classes.

This time around, it has been different. Through a pilot program that's aimed at helping students at Northampton and several other colleges use public benefits,