GPA pauses housing help

Arguably, the most important factor in being a successful student is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. With a diverse student body from all walks of life, Amarillo College has resources in place to promote the wellbeing and success of its students depending on the needs of their situation. 

While these resources have proven helpful for many, one of the main problems facing students is housing insecurity, and students need a 2.0 GPA in order to qualify for housing assistance.

The Advocacy and Resource Center, or ARC, is a great help to many as it connects AC students to programs and resources for a variety of issues and concerns. 

The ARC has a list of emergency shelters and affordable housing it can provide to students who are facing housing insecurity, but can only provide monetary assistance to students with a 2.0 GPA. 

While it is understandable that the limited funds would be allocated to student with a proven track record, a contributing factor to a student’s scholastic trouble may well be the struggle to afford rent or housing payments. With a serious lack of affordable student housing in Amarillo, many students are forced into less affordable housing situations. 

This higher demand on income may require students to work more hours or take on another job, taking a major toll on their work-life balance. 

With the fear of homelessness motivating their decisions, many students put their studies on the back-burner in order to focus on providing for themselves, and in many cases, their families.  

Student performance generally does not take a large dip for no reason. Life can hurl a curveball that can derail someone in all aspects of life, and some provisions exist for people facing problems in their personal lives. 

In the case of housing assistance, there should also exist measures for struggling students who may be suffering in their classes due to housing insecurity.

In most cases, what is needed more than anything is time to adjust to the demands of one’s personal and scholastic life without penalty. It seems that revoking housing assistance to a struggling student would only compound the problems in their performance. 

Perhaps if students who fail to meet the 2.0 GPA requirement after a difficult semester were allowed a probationary period where students can still qualify for housing assistance and work on improving in their studies without the added stress from fear of homelessness.  

A probationary period could also serve to give students a buffer to give students the opportunity to establish a schedule that works for them and promotes the work-life balance needed to be a successful student. 

Regardless, students who were once successful enough to qualify for financial housing assistance should not be penalized after one rough semester, and there should be grace shown to those students in order to give them their best chance at completing their course of study.

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